FOND DU LAC/CALUMET COUNTY - In some of our area's smaller communities, it's not uncommon to find a church, a supper club and not much else. East of Lake Winnebago, these institutions are being celebrated as part of a new tourism campaign.
At Jim and Linda's Lakeview Supper Club in Malone, the owners understand what makes dinner special: entertainment, cocktails and conversation.
"It's just nice to go to a supper club and enjoy yourself and relax, have a good dinner,' explained Linda Koenigs.
And establishments like these are a part of Wisconsin's heritage.
"Anybody can go to an Olive Garden anywhere in the country, but they can only go to these one-of-a-kind supper clubs in one place," explained Craig Molitor, president of the Fond du Lac Convention and Visitors Bureau.
East of Lake Winnebago, there's a new campaign highlighting supper clubs. It's an extensive brochure called "Breaking Bread in the Holyland." Alongside the supper clubs are another staple to this area, the historic Catholic churches.
"If we brought some awareness to these churches and helped the public see how beautiful they are maybe there would be a growing appreciation for them," explained Julie Schmelzer, the director of resource management for Calumet County.
This campaign is Schmelzer's brainchild. She told FOX 11 this area was settled by Prussian immigrants in the 1800s. They started the churches in towns with names like St. Cloud, Jericho and St. John, hence the nickname.
"The Holyland was the roots for those surrounding counties," explained Schmelzer.
And since the "Holyland" crosses from Calumet into Fond du Lac County, the Fond du Lac Convention and Visitors Bureau got involved in the project.
It's aiming for culinary and history tourists.
"Day trippers who are going to come, tour some of the churches, eat at a supper club and then come back," described Schmelzer.
Which would be good for Jim and Linda Koenigs' supper club. The couple told us this area has everything tourists could want.
"We have it right here in our backyard, every, single day and that's how the holy land feels, this is ours. It's very, very unique," said Jim Koenigs.
If you'd like a copy of the brochure you can send an email to email@example.com.
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