People, Places & Passions Podcast

Presented by the City of Altoona, this podcast explores the people, events and happenings within the community. Hear from those both behind and in front of the scene, as well as from your neighbors. New episodes drop on the third Monday of each month.

Episode 8

An active participant in a number of area projects, Chris joins the podcast to talk about the mural at River Prairie he has designed and brought to life.  He tells us all about the “Frank and Friends” mural while diving into his overall philosophy and artistic process. His handiwork is in a number of public spaces as well as businesses and residences around the region. The murals he has created have received praise and accolades by many.​Murals are simply “big paintings” and Chris gives us an interesting explanation of the physical work and unique challenges of bringing a mural to life.

Chris also brings the listeners inside the local “skateboarding culture” and his Passion Board Shop (opened in 2014). He is a lifelong resident of Eau Claire and has seen growth and challenges and optimism over the last 25 years. That includes fighting stereotypes. The proactive approach he has taken in helping to design free public skate parks and the receptive audiences he is finding.

Episode 7

The Nostalgic Bean is a lovely coffee and bake shop in Altoona and the owners Adam and Gretchen join us to talk about their experience behind being small business owners. What led them to buy the business and what they’ve learned over the last year. Balancing keeping things the same while mixing in changes when taking over an existing business. Why they see the arrival of the container park as an opportunity for their brick-and-mortar business. Investing in downtown and the potential. Their passions beyond their business.

Episode 6

Rump’s Butcher Shoppe has become a staple of the city center of Altoona and we hear the story. Bob Adrian took a chance on Altoona a decade ago and it's worked out exceptionally well. It all starts with his passion for working in the food industry which translates into running his own butcher shoppe. What pointers does he have for local businesses? What other passions does he have? And why the name “Rump’s”?

Episode 5

Cross country skiing is a very popular activity in the Chippewa Valley and Ted Theyrl is one of the most prominent advocates for the sport. What drives his passion and what it means to share it with others? The youth program for the ski team has nearly 200 kids signed up and many progress to the full team. Tower Ridge, Lowes Creek, Hickory Ridge and Hoffman Trails are among area locales that are perfect for cross country skiing. It's also a sport that the Eau Claire Ski Striders will help assist adults to get into sport.

Episode 4

We meet Debra Goldbach, the Recreation Manager with Altoona. Along with Mike Golat the City Administrator, they take us through the multitude of events and activities being held this winter in the community.

Episode 3

Mayor Brenden Pratt and City Administrator Mike Golat highlight an exciting new project coming to downtown Altoona. They chat with Lyle Stoflet from Containers Up, about a new endeavor that is bringing an all-new commercial space to the city. Containers Up is a company that specializes in re-purposing containers into usable building space. Why is Altoona moving ahead with this and the goals for it? What businesses/operations should the community expect to populate the container park?

Episode 2

Lace up those sneakers because on this episode we are meeting the people behind CrossFit River Prairie and learn why a guy with a financial background opened a workout spot.  What exactly is crossfit and why was River Prairie and Altoona selected as the site. Bob Tanner, Erika Tanner and Tanner Hoversholm introduce us to the business and themselves.

Episode 1

On the debut of this podcast series presented by the City of Altoona, we get the lowdown on the Ginormous Pumpkin Festival at River Prairie Park on 9/24/22.  We meet Ben Paulzin from Down to Earth Garden Center and find out why he got into growing giant pumpkins, if giant pumpkins make for a good pumpkin pie, and if he himself actually likes to eat pumpkins.