It is finally here, the week that Wausau waits for all year long when four big events all coincide for a weekend of nonstop entertainment. Thursday, July 9 marks the beginning of the Wausau River District’s Sidewalk Sales, Chalkfest, Balloon Rally and Rib Fest.
Wausau River District’s Sidewalk Sales kick off the event on Thursday at 9 a.m. when downtown shops bring their merchandise out onto the sidewalks. The best deals of the year can be found Thursday through Sunday, when apparel, shoes, accessories, sporting goods, books, artwork and so much more are discounted to an all-time low for one weekend only.
The Balloon Rally and Rib Fest will take place at the Wausau Municipal Airport Thursday through Sunday. Balloon launches and glows will take place daily, along with six different rib vendors and a fireworks show on Saturday night. New this year is a 5k “Balloon Chase” race on Saturday morning. There will also be a petting zoo, bounce house, pig racing and photo booth.
A free shuttle bus will run between the 400 block and the airport on Friday, July 10 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday, July 11 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. to take people back and forth from the events. Given the extremely limited parking at the airport, it is best to park (and shop!) downtown and shuttle to the airport.
On Saturday and Sunday, the 400 block will be filled with the bright colors of Chalkfest, where artists of all ages fill the sidewalks with unique and impressive chalk drawings. Spectators are welcomed to grab an ice cream cone or slice of pizza and watch as the 400 block is transformed into an eclectic concrete quilt of local art.
Crayola is sponsoring Chalkfest this year and has chosen a local artist, who just so happens to be Wausau River District’s First Thursday Director Elly Sebastian, to create a surprise drawing in the center square.
On Sunday morning, local band Open Tab will be playing music on the 400 block for shoppers picking up the last of the deals at Sidewalk Sales and for artists finishing up their drawings.
Get the most out of Wausau’s big weekend by checking out all four events!