Shawn filled us in on one way to have some fun this past weekend, but by golly, Tom filled up the Flickr site with a bunch more and there is so much more to come! First let’s do a quick recap of the past weekend.
Friday night the Mayor’s youth council rocked the 400 Block with their annual concert. The Unsung Heroes, Poney, The Dunderchiefs and finally Morality Crisis all took the stage. I have to agree with Tom that it is a bit of a shame that the event was not better attended, maybe it got better as the sun went down. Or maybe the “old fogeys” that turn out for the Wednesday night concerts just know better what they are doing.
On Saturday, things kicked off with the Farmers’ Market, as usual. The Market is really cooking now with all kinds of good things, much of it grown or made locally with a few things brought in from around the Midwest to spice things up a bit.
The Market is always a wonderful experience, with just enough carnival atmosphere to make it fun, but not so hucksterish to turn you off. Most of the vendors are super friendly, helpful and of course just about everything there is just wonderful — and good for you too!
My only suggestion to the vendors (if any are reading this!) is that just a little more “marketing” would not hurt at all. Not vendor there grows or makes the things they are selling — if you do, a nice big sign saying so would be a great idea. Nice printed signs would be a nice touch, if you don’t have access to a computer you can use the ones at the library and pay only 10 cents a page for print outs. A few sheet protectors from Hadley’s — instant signs! Recipe cards might be helpful as well, especially for the more exotic veggies.
After the Farmers’s Market the Mid-West Freestyle Championships were in full swing down at the Whitewater Park. Personally, I prefer racing, but the flips and turns of this event are certainly crowd favorites. In past years (at least the last ones I went to) the event was held at the big drop behind the county building. This time they were held at the rapids under the Stewart Street Bridge.
The event was certainly more visible to passersbye on the road, but again, personally, I prefered the venue down by the big drop. More shade, prettier scenery and a chance to get much closer to the action. And maybe it was my imagination, but it seemed that the stunts that were pulled off in the big drop were much more spectacular.
Keep in mind that very few cities (that is to say, none, really) have a world class whitewater run in the middle of downtown. This is a fabulous resource and I hope everyone will come out for the events next year. These are some very serious athletes who compete here.
And speaking of fierce competitors and racing, the mountain bikers descended on Nine Mile Forest for the annual 24-9 event. What is 24-9 you ask? Well teams (or individuals!) of bikers compete to see how many laps of Nine Mile Forest they can complete in 24 hours. Ouch!
Actually I had no idea this was such a big event. A lot of the big companies were out there and some pretty high level teams were competing. There were tons of people camped out in the parking lots, and all over the forest. Even in the heat and humidity everyone seemed to be having a great time and things were nice and mellow, so the organizers obviously did a bang up job. Maybe next year I will even bike a bit out there!
But wait there is still more!
For families, especially those with little ones, Latinos Unidos and the Neighbor’s Place put on their first Multicultural Fest. I hope this is something that will grow into an annual event. The Hispanic population is growing in this area, which along with the Hmong population adds extra spice to the Wausau gumbo, so we need more opportunities to interact and learn from each other. The event looked to be pretty well attended and the kids were having fun with their projects.
Speaking of kids and fun, the Boys and Girls Club sponsored “Kids Day” on Sunday, but unfortunately the rainy weather in the morning moved the event from outside at Kennedy Park to inside at the club. I am sure the kids had fun anyway, but outdoor events attract so many more people. Don’t forget that the Boys and Girls Club have ongoing programs for kids until September, so that may be a cure for the Dog Days of August when many of the other programs come to a halt.
Now, if that was not enough for you, this week should wear you out pretty well. The big event, of course, is the Wisconsin Valley Fair. A whole week of national headliner entertainment, starting off with George Thorgood and the Destroyers on Tuesday night, which just gets things started for the week. The fair runs through next Sunday and there is truly something for everyone there. And don’t forget all the good ole “county fair” stuff, the 4-H, FFA and other exhibits of quilts, cakes, animals and other things that your friends and neighbors do for fun and enjoyment. Take plenty of time to see all those before heading to the grandstand.
But the other activities around town do not stop for the Fair. Wausau Area Events is sponsoring “Billions of Bubbles” on the 400 block from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Aug 1st. Sounds like a simple and fun concept. Fill the square with containers of bubble soap and add the wands and tons of kids and let the bubbles fly! Hopefully there will also be non-soapy water for the kids to get into, given how hot it is supposed to be.
The Concert on the Square will be held as usual on the 400 block on Wednesday night. Harmonius Wail will perform. Their website says that Bela Fleck thinks they are a “good band.” But what does he know? They are great. Bring a lawn chair and a picnic. On Thursday the Wausau City Band will move down to George Street Park in Rothschild as their usual Marathon Park venue will be a bit busy that night.
Next time someone says Wausau is boring or there is nothing to do, just tell them about this week!