The city of Chippewa Falls is overflowing with history and memories, and this week the community is coming together to celebrate that history.
This is the 150th anniversary (sesquicentennial) of Chippewa Falls, and the festivities will be underway this weekend including concerts, parades and everything in between.
The musical lumberjack aggregation known as The Swampers is set to perform their new show “Today in the Valley” as part of the Pure Water Days and Sesquicentennial Birthday Bash festivities this week at the Heyde Center for the Arts. This will be the official start of the sesquicentennial celebrations.
The show features original stories and songs celebrating the new and exciting changes being made in the Chippewa Valley, including the new Riverfront Park, new music, hotels, restaurants, wineries and more. The showings are 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Tickets are $13 for adults, $12 for seniors, $6 for youths and $32 for a family of four.
Songwriter and Swampers member Jerry Way said the show is full of references to the 150th anniversary of Chippewa Falls.
“The anniversary is a brand new and exciting aspect of the show this year,” Way said. “We actually have a song in the show dedicated to the anniversary of the city of Chippewa Falls. And we are also going to be using photographs from a production we put on earlier this year, which told the story of Chippewa Falls in 1869, to better illustrate the time and celebrate how far we’ve come. It’s going to be a fun addition.”
Another big attraction being put on this weekend is Friday night at the newly modeled Riverfront Park in downtown Chippewa Falls. National act Phil Cook will be taking the stage with local favorites Them Coulee Boys, who will put on hours of entertainment for attendees to enjoy with food trucks, beer tents and fireworks rounding out the night.
Local musician and longtime Chippewa Falls resident John Gilbertson said he is excited for local music to be the main attraction at the celebration Friday.
“A lot of times people think you need some huge act to get people to come out, but we have enough local talent to do just that,” Gilbertson said. “Phil’s great, and I’ve never gotten to see Them Coulee Boys before, so I’m looking forward to seeing them for sure. Should be a great night.”
After the Birthday Bash performances Friday night, the 43rd Annual Pure Water Days is set for Saturday. Pure Water days is a fun-filled day with a parade, music, food and the 3rd Annual Pickleball Tournament.
Kicking off Pure Water Days at 1 p.m. is the Pure Water Days Parade, and family fun activities will be free throughout the city after the parade. Another concert celebrating both Pure Water Days and the Chippewa Falls Sesquicentennial is set for Saturday night at the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds.
“The Voice” finalist Chris Kroeze and cover band Arch Allies will take the mainstage at the fairgrounds Saturday night to cap the Sesquicentennial celebrations. Tickets are $20 a person and parking is free.
Whether you plan to attend a concert, watch the parade or enjoy the festivities in another way, the Chippewa Falls Sesquicentennial Birthday Bash and Pure Water Days is set to be a fitting tribute to the city of Chippewa Falls and the history its made over 150 years.