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A rousing cheer

Members of the Ultimate Performance Gymnastics and Cheer group perform at the corner of Bridge Street and West Birch Street in downtown Chippewa Falls during the Pure Water Days parade in this August 2017 photo from Chris Perri.

After Pure Water Days’ Saturday celebrations start drawing to a close, McDonell and Chippewa Falls Senior High School graduates can head to the fairgrounds for a chance to reconnect with past classmates.

The Chippewa Falls Citywide Class Reunion begins Saturday at 5 p.m. and ends at midnight. The event opens the fairgrounds to anyone 21 and older for a night of socializing, food, yard games and live music.

The reunion isn’t confined to McDonell and Chi-Hi graduates, said reunion committee member Turi McIlquham—the public is welcome.

“I think it’s a great time to reconnect with people you maybe haven’t seen for a long time,” McIlquham said.

Though the reunion isn’t restricted to any one year or school, people are welcome to set up tents or tables to try to find their classmates.

Rain or shine, a $10 ticket purchased at the gate will get attendees into the fairgrounds. Current Catering of Chippewa Falls will sell food and snacks, and beer is $3 per ticket or seven for $20. Gluten-free food and beverages will also be available.

“We’ve had about 1,000 people in the past, but are hoping for more this year,” McIlquham said.

A DJ will play music from 5 to 8 p.m., and Somerset-based band The Dweebs are slated to play 8:30 to 11:30 p.m.

The Dweebs, an act formed by a father and his several children, play music from the 1960s to the present day: “The music we have is really great this year,” McIlquham said.

Reunion profits will go into an endowment fund for McDonell and Chi-Hi at the Community Foundation of Chippewa County.

The citywide reunion began in 2011. Separate reunions were held for baby boomers and for older generations.

Later, organizers decided to merge the two and welcome the public to one free-for-all evening.

There’s an appeal to a class reunion that’s not limited to one year, McIlquham said, and “seeing people you went to school with, (but) maybe didn’t graduate with” is part of the draw.

The next Chippewa Falls citywide reunion will be held in 2020.

Other Pure Water Days activities on Saturday include races and a half marathon starting at 7:30 a.m., a pickleball tournament at Buchanan Park at 9 a.m., a downtown Chippewa Falls parade at 1 p.m. and RiverFest and more entertainment at Allen Park at 2 p.m.

For a full Pure Water Days events schedule, visit http://www.chippewafallsmainst.org/ and select “Pure Water Days.”

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Chippewa Herald reporter

Sarah Seifert reports for the Chippewa Herald. Contact her with tips or story ideas at 715-738-1608 or at sarah.seifert@lee.net.

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