After winning the Wisconsin Main Street Award for Best Retail Event, First Thursdays is finidng success again and in an even bigger way in 2016! First Thursdays, a social-retail event, is hosted throughout Wausau’s River District from 4-8pm on the first Thursday of each month, May-September.
Starting at 4pm and running until 8pm, attendees can meander, discover and explore downtown Wausau in a festival setting of performing and visual arts stage throughout the shopping district. (Music and art start at 5
Over 15 musicians and bands will be dispersed throughout downtown Wausau, as well as local artists and other entertainment.
In addition, each month will feature a scavenger hunt with a chance to win some exciting prizes from River District businesses.
Almost 40 businesses throughout the River Dsitrict will particpate in First Thursdays this year:
Back When Cafe
Antiques by Ginny
Art, Books, and Banter
Blonde & Beyond
Central Board Shop
Evolutions in Design
Isaac's Fine Apparel
Northwoods Jewelry Co.
Second Peek Boutique
Shepherd & Shaller Sporting Goods
St. Clair's Menswear
Studio 7 Fashion Exchange
Studio E Salon, Spa, and ManCave
Terradea Salon & Spa
The Violet Loft
Wig N Things Boutique
Center for Visual Arts
Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum
The McCartneys Photography
St. John's Episcopal Church
We Have A Lot To Be Proud Of
Our River District community is rather amazing. More family than business district, everyone looks to help each other out, as is evident with the District's Spread the Love promotion and huge support of businesses damaged by a fire in September.
Beyond that, Wausau River District has recently been featured on the cover of Retail Minded magazine, is highlighted as one of Wisconsin's Seven Best Shopping Destinations, and was nominated for a 2016 Small Business Award.
While 2015 was a banner year for us, we are looking forward to further enhancing our 13 year history as a Main Street program with more new programming in 2016. Our annual State of the River District report highlights all we're accomplished, and everything that's yet to come.
With everything mentioned above, it's no wonder we were a quarterfinalist in the America's Best Communities contest. Although we didn't advance, we still know that Thanks for helping keep Wausau "wausome".
Wausau River District, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the revitalization of downtown Wausau's River District and is supported by City of Wausau Room Tax Funding.
Our 2016 Event Season is Better than Ever!
We've added more ways to enjoy yourself in Downtown Wausau's River District this year! Below is a look at our 2016 season:
May 14th: Downtown Open House - Join us throughout downtown Wausau as we celebrate Wausau's architectural, cultural, and social history with Wausau's Downtown Open House! In conjunction with National Main Street Week (May 14-21), some of downtown Wausau's most historic and culturally significant places will open their doors to the public. This is far beyond your high school history class - experts will be on hand to provide in-depth information on each site.
1st Thursday 4-8pm May-September: First Thursdays - Launched in 2015, this event drew thousands of visitors to downtown Wausau over its 5 month run. First Thursdays runs from 5-8pm on the first Thursday of each month, May-September. We bring in musicians and entertainers to contribute to the experience and theme of "merchandise, music, and more".
June 13-17: Downtown Employee Appreciation Week - New in 2016, this is a week all about celebrating our downtown office workers. We know that these employees are key to a strong downtown, so this is our opportunity to celebrate them. Similar to appreciation events done around the county, this week will feature exclusive specials and activities for downtown employees like Wausau's Largest Coffee Break, yoga on the roof of the Palladian, lunch specials, a Woodchucks game special, and office games, among many other fun things.
July 7-10: Sidewalk Sales - In conjunction with Wausau's BIG Weekend (Chalkfest, Balloon and Rib Fest), Sidewalk Sales is hosted on the second weekend of July, this year running July 7-10. Downtown retailers take to the sidewalks with sale inventory. Last year over 5,000 people came to downtown Wausau over the weekend.
Early November: Christmas on First - In it's 24th year this year, this event is a hallmark of the near west side of the River District. Get a first peek at holiday decor and gifts while getting in the holiday spirit with refreshments at each store and a Grand Prize giveaway at the end of the weekend.
November 26: Small Business Saturday - This nation-wie evet, held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, this is a day to celebrate and patronize our local independent stores that make our city unique. This event keeps getting bigger and better each year!