About Rotary Park

Rotary Park - Click on image for larger view

Rotary Park, adjacent to historic downtown Port Washington, Wisconsin and the city’s marina, is part of Port’s chain of greenways along the Lake Michigan shore.  These include Upper Lake Park to the north of downtown, Veterans’ Park (which gives access to the city’s north beach), and Fisherman’s Park.  In coming years, lake front acreage to the east of the WE Energies plant will be added to the park system and provide public access to the beach south of the city.

Created in 1999 as part of an expansion of the city’s marina, Rotary Park was developed with assistance from several local Port Washington organizations - the Rotary Club, the Lions, the Kiwanis, and the Port Washington Garden Club.  The pavilion at the center of the park was donated by Port Washington State Bank, a mainstay of the community for more than 100 years.

A tall ship visiting Port Washington harbor - Click for larger view

Rotary Park is the site of many of the city’s festivals including Pirate Fest and the Maritime Heritage Festival.  Tall sailing ships anchor off the park several times during the summer and offer tours and lake cruises. The park also offers some of the best viewing for summer fireworks, especially on July 4th and Fish Day (the third Saturday in July).  Rotary Park can also be reserved for special events like weddings -- visit the Park and Rec website for details.

Pirate Fest - Click for larger view

Several local landmarks are visible from Rotary Park.  Looking north, the St. Mary’s Catholic Church crowns one of the city’s seven hills.  The church, built in 1888,  is one of several buildings in Port Washington on the National Register of Historic Places.  East of the church, the red roof of the restored 1862 light station is visible.  Looking west, down the main park sidewalk, the clock tower of the County Courthouse can be seen.  Also located directly west from the park on Grand Avenue is the Pebble House, home of the Port Washington Visitor’s Center.  The Pebble House, also on the National Register, is constructed of round stones harvested from the Lake Michigan shore.  Looking south, it’s easy to spot the “Smith Bros.” sign on the last of the many fish shanties that were once a common sight downtown when a large fishing fleet called Port Washington home.  The historic building, adjacent to tiny Fisherman’s Park, now houses a law office.  (for more about these buildings and Port’s history see historic society’s website).