News & Events

Year-round Public Art Destination

Ashland’s Historic Main Street Business District invites visitors and locals to explore unique shops, galleries and specialty stores where you’ll find everything from German Cookies and Chocolates and Gourmet Delights, to a variety of locally owned stores with flowers, gifts, clothing for the entire family, and local art and framing. Ashland’s Main Street offers history and hometown charm that shoppers and visitors are looking for.

The community’s pride in its rich history is evident in its 20 vibrant murals located in the Main Street downtown Shopping and Dining District. The eight-block Main Street business district, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the background for a fascinating walk through Ashland’s history as seen through the eyes of local mural artists. These Murals highlight a particular aspect of Ashland’s colorful past, depicting subjects ranging from the city’s lumberjacks and military veterans to its railroads, storefronts and former massive ore dock. Since 2005, Ashland has been known as the “Historic Mural Capital of Wisconsin,” making the city a year-round public art destination.

Making Ashland’s Main Street complete are the locally owned restaurants, Chequamegon Food Coop which has a Mosaic Art Mural on the building, award winning South Shore Brewery, The Bay Theatre, and a walkway starting on Main Street in the Plaza Park that connects you to an underground tunnel which leads you to Chequamegon Bay on Lake Superior and the waterfront trail. The stunning artistic display in the tunnel features a glass mosaic menagerie of native animals, aquatic creatures and plants incorporating traditional Anishinaabe narratives.  Possibly installed on plaques, interpretive information accompanying the art will provide scientific and explanatory details about the life cycles of the flora and fauna depicted. No matter the season, the community cordially welcomes visitors to enjoy and explore this shining jewel, crowning the greatest of the Great Lakes.

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