But he’d never been to Appleton.
“When I travel to a community I always get really excited,” he said.
Perhaps best known for the Teddy Bear Picnic in St. John’s, Reilly is a talented performer, writer and composer.
When Derm Flynn called to ask him to come out to perform at the 25th Winterfest, he was so delighted he knew he had to write a song.
“That’s something I do,” he said. “I have a noisy heart. My heart wanted to express how happy I was to come here.”
He did a little research—learned about local personalities and looked at some photographs, like the one of the old railway trestle—and just like that, he had several verses and a chorus.
When he sings “Welcome to Appleton, it’s a friendly little town” at Winterfest’s children’s afternoon, they’ll be hearing a whole new song, written especially for them.