By Shereen Siewert

Downtown Wausau this summer will once again be filled with music and art, with Chalkfest returning in July and the popular Concerts on the Square series returning for the season.

Wausau Events Interim Director Lindsey Lewitzke announced the decision early Thursday. As Wausau Pilot & Review previously reported, the Big Bull Falls Blues Fest will also return this August. These events were canceled in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“2020 brought us challenges that none of us could have expected,” Lewitzke said, in a news release. “Cancelling our events for an entire year was never anything we imagined happening. But when health departments, medical experts, and other stakeholders tell you it’s the right thing to do to keep our community safe, you listen.”

Lewitzke said she knows how important these events are to building community while supporting small businesses and local nonprofit organizations.

“As we look ahead, we’ve taken each of our events into consideration and are working to find solutions that keep our community safe as we work through the pandemic,” she said.

Concerts on the Square, presented by TDS and Tundraland, will debut June 16. Concerts will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Aug. 18 on The 400 Block. Chalkfest, which draws artists from the region and around the state who use the sidewalks as a canvas for their work, is set for July 10-11 in downtown Wausau.

As previously reported, Blues Fest will be held Aug. 20-21 on Fern Island. Planning for a fall community event in September is underway, with a specific date and location to be announced soon.

“These events will certainly require different planning compared to previous years and may look a little different, but we are working hard to provide events that can be offered in a safe environment,” Lewitzke said.

The annual Balloon and Rib Fest will not be held at the Wausau Downtown Airport in 2021.

The musical lineup for Concerts on the Square will be announced April 8. See details on Blues Fest here.