Wausau River District will take part in a statewide celebration of downtown business districts in the first-ever Wisconsin Main Street Day event on Tuesday, Aug. 22.

Wausau is one of 12 communities selected to take part in local Main Street Day celebrations that will feature state and local officials, and community leaders. The day highlights the important role that downtowns play in the local economy and celebrates the many successes of Wisconsin’s commercial business districts.

Wausau River District will be hosting a celebration at Downtown Grocery’s original location, 607 N 3rd Street, from 10:45-11:30 a.m. A local duet will be playing at the celebration as well. Invited speakers include Lt. Governor Kleefisch, Chris Schock, the Planning, Community, and Economic Development Director, Downtown Grocery owners Kevin Korpela and Megan Curtes Korpela, and Wausau River District Board member Alfred Nakhla. The event will celebrate Downtown Grocery’s move back to its original location and total reconstruction of the historic building. 

The public is invited to join the Wisconsin Main Street Day celebration.

Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Secretary and CEO Mark Hogan, Deputy Secretary and COO Tricia Braun and other officials will each visit the communities to celebrate the success of the Wisconsin Main Street and Connect Communities Programs, which provide technical support and guidance to downtown groups. Many of the events also will include announcements about local business openings and other new downtown initiatives.

“Our state officials are thrilled to be able to visit Wausau on Wisconsin Main Street Day to celebrate the many successes that have taken place here,” Braun said. “We look forward to not only highlighting those successes but also learning more about upcoming initiatives planned for downtown that help make Wausau  a great place to live, work and play.”

The Wisconsin Main Street Program, which was launched in 1987 and is overseen by WEDC, provides support and training for organizations dedicated to downtown revitalization efforts. Since the program’s inception, Wisconsin Main Street communities have created more than 2,600 net new businesses and nearly 14,000 net new jobs. They also have generated more than $1.7 billion in public and private investment since then, and are renovating more than 250 buildings per year.

Wausau River District has been a Wisconsin Main Street community since 2002.