By Shereen Siewert

WAUSAU — Wausau’s Whitewater course, which typically hosts numerous races and other events each summer, will be closed for the 2019 season due to a planned Wisconsin Public Service drawdown of the Wisconsin River.

Officials from the organization say the closure has a silver lining. The drawdown will allow for Wausau Whitewater to make repairs and improvements to maintain its world class course reputation.

Wausau Kayak President Brian Scholz announced the closure Thursday on the group’s Facebook page.

In his post, Scholz was optimistic about the changes and called WPS a great partner for the park by working with the organization’s releases and events. WPS provides dam operators on weekends when necessary, he said.

“Stay tuned for more details to come later on our course improvements,” Scholz wrote. “We plan on being back in full operation in 2020 with our rec releases and events and looking possibly at bringing two new events to our park in addition to the Midwest Freestyle Championships and TRR events.”

Wausau Whitewater Park, established in 1974, is about a third-mile course used for both slalom and freestyle events. Races attract visitors from around the country.

The drawdown is expected to begin May 1.