By Shereen Siewert

A popular wine and art event will return to downtown Wausau this fall with nearly two dozen downtown businesses already signed up to participate.

Exhibitour, a “wine walk” through downtown Wausau, will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28 along Third Street, according to the River District Director website.

In the past, Exhibitour drew thousands of people who came to the downtown area to sip wine while moving from store to store to view artwork on display. Many downtown businesses participated, some bringing in artists to meet and greet guests while showcasing their wares.

After several successful years, Exhibitour was scuttled in 2012 because the event violated state alcohol laws. But rule changes at the state level in October 2015 now allow up to 20 stores to obtain wine-only licenses, making it legal for them to serve wine during such events as long as admission fees are charged and the event ends by 9 p.m. So far, 15 businesses have signed up as “wine galleries” and seven businesses are designated “host galleries” for the event.

Organizations are allowed up to two events in a 12-month period, under state law.

Local ordinances do not permit open intoxicants on the streets, but organizations can request a waiver of the restriction from the public health and safety committee if they wish to allow participants to carry their wine from one participating location to the next. Wausau’s Public Health and Safety committee will discuss the requested waiver on Monday.

For the most up-to-date information about Exhibitour, visit the Wausau River District website.