NEWS RELEASE — The Wausau River District will take part in a statewide celebration of downtown business districts in the?third annual?Wisconsin Main Street?Day event on?Wednesday, July 24.

Wausau is one of six 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 importance of downtown districts to a community’s overall economy and celebrates the many successes?of Wisconsin’s commercial business districts.

Located at 130 N. First St. between downtown Wausau and the Wisconsin River, Whitewater Music Hall is celebrating its official grand opening, after the first show was held there on June 22. The owners, sister duo Kelly Ballard and Leslie Patterson, have transformed the venue—formerly a Masonic Lodge—to offer live music, locally roasted coffee, microbrews, visual artwork and more.

WEDC Deputy Secretary and COO Tricia Braun, Wausau Mayor Robert Mielke, Wausau River District Executive Director Blake Opal-Wahoske, owner Leslie Patterson and other  officials will join other distinguished guests at 11 a.m. on July 24?to offer the first look at the progress and improvements that have been made inside the new space.

The public is invited to join the?Wisconsin Main Street Day?celebration.?Participants, attendees and the media are invited to use the hashtag #WIMainSt when mentioning the event on social media.

 Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, WEDC Deputy Secretary Tricia R. 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?training for organizations dedicated to downtown or commercial corridor?revitalization.?Many of the events also will include announcements about local business?openings and other new?initiatives by the downtown groups.

“WEDC leadership looks forward to?visiting?Wausau on Wisconsin Main Street Day?to celebrate all the great?efforts?here to enhance the downtown business district,” Braun said. “We look forward to not only highlighting the recent?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,?overseen by WEDC and launched in 1987, provides support and training for organizations dedicated to downtown revitalization efforts. Since?the program’s creation, Wisconsin Main Street communities have created more than?2,700?net new businesses and?more than 14,000?net new jobs, spurring more than $1.9 billion in public and private investment?in downtowns.

Created in 2013, WEDC’s Connect Communities Program is designed to provide training and networking opportunities for communities or organizations working on revitalization efforts. Over the last six years, Wisconsin Connect Communities have created more than 300 net new businesses and almost 1,700 net new jobs, spurring more than $1.2 billion in public and private investment in downtowns.

Wausau has been a Wisconsin Main Street community since 2002.