Charlie Berens

Comedian Charlie Berens, host of the popular YouTube series The Manitowoc Minute, will be appearing at Waterloo Firemen’s Park as part of a March 7 fundraiser.

People will get to experience the best minute of their day – or rather many best minutes of their day Saturday, March 7 when Charlie Berens performs at Waterloo Firemen’s Park. The Wisconsin-based comedian is known for his popular Manitowoc Minute YouTube videos and has been on tour for the past several months.

His stop in Waterloo will serve as a fundraiser for the park, which has been undergoing renovations for the last several years. The event is being run by the recently created Friends of Firemen’s Park group, who in turn will use the proceeds from the show to fund improvements at the city-owned park.

Parks Director Gabe Haberkorn said the results of improvements at Firemen’s Park can be witnessed by anyone who has stopped or driven through the park. The baseball diamond’s outfield has been torn up to allow Skalitzky Sod and Drainage to put in tiling; the field will eventually be named for the company.

Furthermore, Haberkorn said new dugouts will be added as will a new infield surface.

A new volleyball court was added, and improvements have been made to the various park buildings and front entrance.

The parks direction mentioned $70,000 worth of sewer work needs to be completed, too.

“We’re hoping for a grand reopening of Firemen’s Park on July 4 and tying that all together,” he said.

The decision to have a comedy show to help raise money for the park has been on Haberkorn’s mind since he took over the park’s director position several years ago. The parks director reached out to Berens through Facebook in August on a whim to find out how much it would cost to have him perform in Waterloo. About 10 minutes later, the comedian directed the municipal employee to get in touch with Berens’ manager.

“We started working on it right away,” Haberkorn said. “Just like that, it was all set up and we’re ready to go.”

The show will be held at the Firemen’s Park Pavilion and only 400 tickets will be available for the 7:30 p.m. performance. An event page on Facebook has already generated a lot of interest with more than 28,000 shares.

“I have a feeling tickets will go real quick,” Haberkorn said.

Tickets will cost $35 for general admission and $40 for VIP, plus fees, and go on sale through Eventbrite on Jan. 15 at midnight. The show is open to all ages.

In addition to Berens, two area comedians will open the show. There will also be beverages and food for sale, with proceeds going to the Friends group.

Berens has given the Friends group a generous discount on his performance fee since it is raising money for the park, according to Haberkorn.

“We’re greatly appreciative of that,” the parks director said. “And the Friends group for stepping forward and picking this up.”

This will not be the first time Berens has been in the area; he previously spent time at Crave Brothers farm in the Town of Portland to film a Dairy Month-themed episode of the Manitowoc Minute.

Haberkorn is looking for volunteers to help with the March 7 event; those interested can contact him at 920-478-3025 or parks@waterloowi.us. People can also contact him for more information about the Friends group.

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