New program to help visitors discover Wausau River District

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By WSAW Staff 

 A new online tool for visitors to more easily navigate downtown Wausau is set to launch.

To explain what the Wausau Digital Concierge is Sunrise 7 was joined by Elizabeth Brodek, Executive Director of the Wausau River District and Douglas Miskowiak, Senior GIS Education Specialist at UW-Stevens Point.

The Wausau Digital Concierge (WDC) is an online service that exhibits the wonderful amenities located in downtown Wausau, including shops, cultural venues, hotels, restaurants, and even places of worship. 
This is how it works; the WDC uses a map to represent the geographic location of each amenity, while photography and a text narrative summarizes the services and characteristics offered at each venue. The service links to driving or walking directions that begin from the user’s present location.

The project, set to be presented to city leaders Tuesday, is a partnership among the Wausau River District, the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce, and the Geographic Information Systems Center at UW-Stevens Point.

Region partners expressed their desire to market Wausau and put that information directly in the hands of tourists, visitors and people looking to Wausau as a potential place to live and work.

According to Brodek, The Wausau Digital Concierge is designed to help visitors learn what venues are available to them in the River District. It’s an exceptional tool to help visitors plan a trip. Once in Wausau, the WDC on a smartphone puts the River District in the palm of the user’s hand to assist in navigation from place to place. WDC markets much of what the Wausau downtown has to offer and heightens the visibility and accessibility of its venues.

The WDC is freely accessible using any computer, tablet or smartphone connected to the internet. Users access the tool using a web browser, like Safari, Chrome or Firefox. Typing “Wausau Digital Concierge” in a web search or directly typing the address https://arcg.is/1bTrbf will find and open the tool.

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Annual holiday parade rolls through Wausau

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By Curtis Aderholdt, at WAOW

Because of a significant increase in float entries, the parade took nearly two hours to travel from Marathon Park to the 400 block Friday evening.

"This year we have 99 floats and that is about 20 to 27 more than we had last year. There are a lot of fun entries to look for," said Sara Hujar of Wausau Area Events.

Hundreds lined the streets to see the "Winter Wonderland" themed floats.
    
Santa and Mayor Mielke lit up the city tree on the 400 block after the parade finished.
    
Businesses and floats in the parade also had the chance to win a best-float competition; the winners were then able to donate their winnings.

"It's a great opportunity for businesses to get their name out and to enter into the competition to donate $100 to charity," said Miss Wisconsin winner Grace Stanke

Stanke is a Rib Mountain native. She played renditions of Christmas tunes on the violin in the parade despite the chilly temperatures.
    
Members of our own Newsline 9 crew walked the parade route as well, including Melissa Langbehn, Tony Schumacher, Justin Loew, and Courtney Terlecki.

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At least 300 free scarves, hats line streets of downtown Wausau Free hats and scarves free for the taking in downtown Wausau

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By Maria Szatkowski at WSAW

Hundreds of free scarves and hats were placed in downtown Wausau Friday night, thanks to the group Chase the Chill Central WIsconsin.

The group began this past January. People knitted or crocheted hats, scarves and even a few blankets.

They were left tied along fences, light posts, and benches ahead of the Holiday Parade for anyone who may want or need one.

"I think it just shows that people out there do care, whether you're homeless, you're cold, or something looks pretty. It's just putting a little smile on people's face," said Sarah Kreager, who founded this chapter of Chase the Chill.

At least 300 items were made and distributed around the area.

For anyone who's interested in helping, you can find more info on their Chase the Chill Central Wisconsin Facebook page.

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Take an inside look at this year's 'Wausau Holiday Parade'

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By Stacia Kulakowski  at WSAW

Since the 80s, the streets of Wausau have filled with Christmas spirit for the holiday season, and this year is no different!

"The Wausau Holiday Parade was started in the early 80s by the Wausau West Side Business Association, but as Wausau Events came to be and the parade grew, it came to our organization," explained Sara Hujar the Executive Director of Wausau Events.

This year's parade will hold over 70 floats, as well as the a stop from Mr. and Mrs. Claus themselves.

"The parade takes place this Friday, December 1 and kicks off from Marathon Park at 6:30 p.m.," Hujar said.

The route of the parade will go down Stewart Avenue and all the way to the 400 Block.

"Immediately following the parade there will be a 'Tree Lighting Ceremony' and also a 'Warming Party' at the Great Hall featuring live music, cookies and hot cocoa while they last, as well as visits with Santa," said Hujar.

For more information on this year's holiday parade, you can 

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Winter and holiday celebrations galore in central Wisconsin

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By:  Laura Schulte, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Temperatures are continuing to drop, and now that Thanksgiving has passed, it's officially time to start preparing for winter fun.

And what better way to get into the holiday and winter spirit than bundling up and heading outside for a festival, parade or community celebration? 

Here's a roundup of some central Wisconsin holiday and winter events to check out in 2017 and into 2018: 

1. Wausau holiday parade, Dec. 1, downtown Wausau

Watch as a parade full of twinkling lights and winter magic makes its way through Wausau. The route will start at Marathon Park at 6:30 p.m. and will make its way to downtown at about 7 p.m. The floats will be announced by emcees at The 400 Block. Afterward, stick around for the tree lighting and a warming party at the Grand Theater, with a chance to visit with Santa. 

For more information, visit www.wausauevents.org. 

2. Nekoosa Area Hometown Christmas, Dec. 2, Nekoosa

Kick your weekend off with a breakfast with Santa at 8:30 a.m., then continue on for a day full of holiday fun. Check out the craft show, pick up a few new books at the library book sale and take a ride on a tractor-pulled wagon. The day will end at 6:30 p.m., with fireworks lighting up the night sky. 

For more information, visit www.wisconsinrapidschamber.com.

3. Mosinee Christmas festival and parade, Dec. 2, Mosinee

Lori Hull of Mosinee looks over some of the baked goods at Mosinee's Christmas Festival held in the Mosinee High School Creske Center. (Photo: USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)

The day kicks off with a family festival at the Mosinee High School, 1000 High St., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., which will feature a pancake breakfast and photos with Santa. At 5:45 p.m., head downtown for the parade and annual tree lighting. 

For more information, visit www.mosineechamber.org. 

4. Downtown Iola Christmas parade, Dec. 2, Iola

Watch as Santa makes his way through downtown Iola, preceeded by a long line of colorful, bright holiday floats. The parade will begin at 10 a.m., starting at the Iola-Scandanavia High School, and ending at the Iola Historical Society. 

For more information, visit www.ischamber.com

5. Christmas in the Parks, Dec. 2, Stratford

Roast marshmellows, ride in a horse-drawn wagon and help your little ones write letters to Santa at Klemme Reserve, 600 E. North St., and Klemme Park, 350 N. Third Ave., in Stratford. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., both parks will be full of Christmas time fun. 

6. Christmas in the Center, Dec. 2, Pittsville

Harper Abel, left, and Connor Black, right, were named Christmas Princess and Prince during the second Christmas in the Center: A Pittsville Community Celebration in 2015. (Photo: Courtesy of Michelle Abel)

Join in the community celebration as the holiday season kicks off in Pittsville. Throughout the town, there will be craft sales, soup sales and local entertainment, starting at 10 a.m. and running until 8 p.m.

For more information, visit the Christmas in the Center Facebook page

7. Abbotsford annual Christmas parade, Dec. 2, Abbotsford

Watch as holiday floats light up downtown Abbotsford in a celebration of the kick off of the Christmas season. Clowns will take to the streets at 7 p.m., and the parade will begin at 7:30 p.m. and end around 9 p.m.

For more information, visit www.abbycolbyareachamber.chambermaster.com

8. Rudolph Country Christmas, Dec. 9, Rudolph

A display along Main Street welcomes people into downtown Rudolph on Dec. 10, 2016 as part of Rudolph Country Christmas. (Photo: Nathan Vine/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wi)

Get into the Christmas spirit in Rudolph with activities, reindeer games and more. It will be a whole day of fun, kicking off at 9 a.m. with a breakfast with St. Nick, and ending with a light parade and fireworks at 5:15 p.m. 

For more information, visit www.rudolphcountrychristmas.org

9. Winter brew fest, Jan. 26, Wausau

Wausau's winter brew fest will bring more than 100 different brews to the city. (Photo: Eddie Hernandez Photography, Eddie Hernandez Photography, Get)

Warm up by tasting brews from Wisconsin and across the country. Sip on beer samples and snack on a potato bar at the Wausau Elks Lodge, 414 Scott St., all while listening to live music. Attendees must be at least 21 years of age. Tickets are $25 until Jan. 1, $30 until Jan. 25 and $40 at the door, if any tickets remain. 

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.wausauevents.org. 

10. Downtown Winter Fest, Jan. 27, Wausau

Play in the snow on The 400 Block in downtown Wausau, while enjoying a day out in the community. A snow slide, ice carvings, ice skating and many more winter activities will bring warmth to the cold January weather, along with a mac and cheese cook-off to warm your belly. The event is free and open to the public. 

For more information, visit www.wausauevents.org. 

11. Iola Winter Carnival, Feb. 2 through 4, Iola

Celebrate the coldest months of winter with warm festivities throughout the weekend. At 6 p.m. Friday, watch fat bikes race through the snow and ice at the Iola Winter Sports Club on County Rd MM. On Saturday, watch ice sculptors work their magic, enter your children in the ice fishing competition and eat a tasty lutefisk dinner. On Sunday, watch as ski jumpers take to the air at noon. 

For more information, visit the Iola Winter Carnival Facebook page

12. Winter Fest and sled dog races, Feb. 24 and 25, Wausau

Watch as teams of sled dogs race their way through Willow Springs Garden, all while enjoying warm concessions with friends and family. The Winter Fest is free and open to the public, and will offer activities for attendees of all ages. The festival will start at 10 a.m. Saturday and run through 7 p.m. On Sunday, the hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A salmon dinner will be offered Saturday night for an additional charge. 

For more information, visit www.willowspringsgarden.net. 

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New housing option available near downtown Wausau

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By:  Michael Leischner with WSAU

A first of its kind housing initiative is hoping to bring more people to downtown Wausau.

The Chamber of Commerce and First Weber Group held a ribbon cutting on Thursday for ten townhomes located at the intersection of Third Street and Short Street. The units officially hit the market this weekend.

Phil Larkin with First Weber says the development caters to those who want to buy into a home but want to keep some of the maintenance of a house off their hands. “[they don’t want] the responsibility of having to mow their yard every week, or shovel ten inches of snow when we get dumped on. That’s the idea behind it, you can still own something without all the hassles.”

Larkin adds that the homes fill a housing void near downtown. “There’s only a handful of apartments [downtown] that aren’t income subsidized.”

As for the economic impact for downtown, it’s tough to tell but Larkin says it can’t hurt. “It would be great for the area to bring in a little money. It should only help.” The development also goes along with the trend that many millennials have been following of living within walking distance of work, shops, and dining.

None of the homes had been sold as of Thursday. Larken says when completed the development could have up to 30 homes in the next few years. 

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Local Wausau store owners prepare for Small Business Saturday Local shops prepare for Small Business Saturday

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By:  Holly Chilsen at WSAW/WZAW

This Saturday is a great day for everyone to shop small.

Falling the Saturday after Thanksgiving, customers can find bargains, discover unique gifts and have a personalized shopping experience like none other.

Several small, locally owned businesses in Wausau are taking part in the annual shopping event.

Elizabeth Brodek, the executive director for the Wausau River District explained why Small Business Saturday stands out from big box store shopping and what you can expect this weekend.

"People come downtown, they love being able to have a designated day for shopping small. The business owners love that there's a designated day for shopping small and, really, it's just wonderful that there's a light shed on the importance of small business nationally and at the local level," she said.

Here are some findings from the 2017 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey from American Express, the founding partner of Small Business Saturday.

- At least 80 percent of consumers will shop at a small independent business or eat in a locally owned restaurant this holiday season.

- 44 percent of those who plan to shop small on Small Business Saturday will spend more than they spent last year.

- 89 percent of consumers aware of Small Business Saturday say the day encourages them to shop small year-round.

- 90 percent of all survey respondents feel it’s important to support the small businesses in their communities.

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New restaurant celebrates grand opening in downtown Wausau Daly's Grand Opening Night 11/18/2017

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By Erin Freiderich at WSAW

Daly's, a new restaurant in downtown Wausau, celebrated its grand opening with food, drinks, and live music.

Daly's owner, James Daly, wanted to bring a big city feel to his new restaurant with live musicians, and plenty of food and drink options.

Muscian Marty Sammon was present at the opening. He has performed across the country and made a special visit to the Wausau area for this opening.

"Especially a multi-cultural family like this, I think music is a key element to that it brings people together who normally wouldn't shake each others hands. And to do that over food- its the oldest tradition in the world, ain't it?" said musician Marty Sammon.

The restaurants hopes to bring more people downtown and the Wausau mall. The grand opening was packed with community members and spirits ran high all through the night.

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Streetwise: Technology savvy grocery stores, downtown movie theater and apartments

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Laura Schulte, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

What's happening in the business world of Wausau this week? 

That's what Streetwise aims to keep you updated on. I'm looking out for the scoop on new stores, restaurants and other businesses you should know about. And if something's closing? You can find that here, too. 

Each week, I'll collect the local business news of the week and give you a quick run-through of what's happening in the area. 

Here's the latest: 

Wausau to consider apartment complex at former site of Scott Street Pub

A high-end luxury apartment complex could be coming to the heart of downtown Wausau. 

The building, which would be built by Lokre Cos. of Plover, would be at 120 Scott St., the former home of the Scott Street Steak & Pub. 

There would be five floors and over 40 units in the residential part of the building, and the first floor would house 3,000 square feet of retail space. Underneath the structure would be parking. 

Lokre Cos. asked the city to sell the land for $500,000 and provide a $250,000 grant for site work, as well as $99,000 in tax refunds for 12 years. 

The Economic Development Committee on Thursday evening debated, but decided to withhold a decision, pending more information. 

Trig's, Lamb's grocery stores aim for convenience with pick-up, delivery

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Trig's currently only has one ToGo van at its Wausau location, but plans to add more. (Photo: Laura Schulte/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)

Small, locally-owned grocery stores in Wausau are fighting to stay relevant by allowing their customers to buy their items in advance, and either pick them up or even get them delivered. 

Trig's, 110 S. 17th Ave., and Lamb's, 730 E. Wausau Ave., now both offer easy-to-use online pages for ordering groceries. 

Trig's will deliver the groceries, for a small fee, and offers pick-up for free at their Wausau location. Lamb's offers pick-ups, for a fee, as well as a convenient app which allows you to scan items for coupons and discounts as you shop. 

Wausau reconsiders proposal for downtown theater in Wausau Center mall space

Micon Cinemas plans to work with Hoeft Builders to create 10 theaters and additional retail space. (Photo: Courtesy of the city of Wausau)

The plans for a downtown theater aren't quite dead yet. 

The city's Economic Development Committee on Thursday night voted to bring forward a new proposal for a downtown theater in the old Sears building, which is attached to the mall. 

The original agreement for the theater fell through earlier this fall, after the mall owner, Rialto Capital, and Micon Cinemas couldn't agree who would attend to the shared wall between the buildings. 

The city decided to revisit the theater idea because of a high level of community interest in having more entertainment downtown, said Christian Schock, Wausau's economic development director. 

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City reconsiders proposal for downtown theater in Wausau Center mall space

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Laura Schulte, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

The proposal for a downtown movie theater isn't quite dead yet. 

The city's Economic Development Committee on Thursday night voted to bring forward a new proposal for a downtown theater in the old Sears building, attached to the Wausau Center mall. 

The original agreement for the theater fell through earlier this fall, after the mall owner, Rialto, and Micon Cinemas couldn't reach an agreement over a shared wall between the mall and the Sears building. 

In the original proposal, Micon would have purchased the Sears space for $800,000. The company would have demolished the existing building and built a new 10-theater cinema, attached to the mall by a breezeway. The project would have also allowed for new retail and restaurant space. The proposal was expected to bring in about $3 million to $5 million a year in revenue and employ 75 people. 

Micon Cinemas plans to work with Hoeft Builders to create 10 theaters and additional retail space. (Photo: Courtesy of the city of Wausau)

The city decided to revisit the theater idea because of a high level of community interest in having a theater downtown, said Christian Schock, Wausau's economic development director. In the new proposal, Micon and the mall would be working with a different, local contracting company. 

If the proposal is passed, the sale of the building and demolition would likely occur in the early months of 2018, and construction would begin in the spring. The theater would then open in early 2019. 

The committee requested that the parties involved with the theater present the new proposal as soon as possible. 

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City to consider proposal for high-end downtown Wausau apartment building

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By Heather Poltrock  at WSAW

The Wausau Economic Development Committee is expected to decide Thursday if a plan for a high-end apartment building in downtown Wausau will move forward.

The proposal from Lokre Companies calls for a $6 million apartment building with 48-units. The apartment building would be five stories tall with retail space on the first floor.

The building would house 20 one-bedroom apartments and eight two-bedroom apartment. They would rent for $895 and $1,095, respectively.

The building would be located 120 Scott Street.

The committee will meet Thursday at 5:30 p.m. If approved Thursday, it would go to the common council for full approval.

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New apartment complex proposed for Downtown Wausau

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By Brianna Hollis, Multimedia Journalist at WAOW

A new high-end apartment complex is being proposed for 120 Scott Street in Downtown Wausau. 

The property is across from the Dudley Tower.

The $6 million building would house 48 units, and include a community roof-top area, gym and first-floor retail space. 

According to the proposal, put forth by Lokre Cos, one bedroom units would go for $895, and two bedroom units would cost $1,095. 

Lokre is asking the city to sell them the land for $500,000, and provide them with a $250,000 grant. The proposal also outlines a $99,000 reverse TIF payment over 12 years. 

City leaders seem excited about the idea, and said it would cater to an "under-served niche" in Wausau.

"There might be a few suburban apartments and a handful of cheaper apartments and single family homes," said Chris Schock, the city's economic director. "And what we're missing is the gradation or any opportunities in between that."

People in the community, though, think the prices are too high. 

"It's a very limited amount of people that can really afford that kind of thing," said Audrey Plaisted.

Jojo Ortiz, another Wausau resident, agrees.

"When I think of small town Wausau, I don't really think high-end apartments," she said.

A similar complex is already underway on the north side of the city near Northcentral Technical College.

The Economic Development Committee will discuss the downtown proposal Thursday. 

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Wausau Approves Peddle Pub Business

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By:  Logan Wenger at WSAU

The Wausau City Council voted to approve the creation of a peddle pub business in the city by a 10-1 at their common council meeting Tuesday night. 

Daniel Dadabo would run the business with his fiance Ashley Sampson. Dadabo explains what exactly a peddle pub is.

He said, "It's basically a large bike (where) you start at one location and you peddle with you and a group of up to 14 people around to different bars and restaurants. You stop at each one and have a couple drinks and get back on the bike and peddle on. There's a driver, who's not drinking, that's in charge of making sure everybody is having a good time and being safe."

Dadabo says he's been working with the police department to determine what routes can be used.

"We've got some ideas for routes around the 400 block and things like that. The routes that we've talked about would all be approved by the police station to make sure that we're keeping noise levels and things like that to areas where it wouldn't bother people," said Dadabo.

Dadabo says he's been in contact with other peddle pub businesses on both the east and west coasts and says he even recently flew down to North Carolina to learn more about a business there. 

Dadabo says they're still in the process of purchasing their first peddle pub. He says the typical cost is somewhere between $300 and $400. 

Click Here to read the full story.

 

Shop local with Small Business Saturday events throughout Central Wisconsin

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Nathan Vine, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Small Business Saturday will again provide people the opportunity to support businesses in their own communities during the holiday season.

Started in 2010 by American Express, the event is held annually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which this year falls on Nov. 25. Here’s a listing of events that will be held across central Wisconsin on that date:

WAUSAU: Small Business Saturday will take place in the Downtown Wausau River District. The event is sponsored by Peoples State Bank and NorthStar Restoration Services.

Shoppers can take a selfie and post on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) with the hashtag #ShopSmallWausau for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to the district.

Click Here to read the full story.

Wausau to consider apartment complex at former site of Scott Street Pub

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By:  Laura Schulte, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

A high-end apartment complex could be coming to the heart of downtown Wausau. 

The Economic Development committee on Thursday evening will discuss the proposal for a $6 million complex at 120 Scott St., the former home of the Scott Street Steak & Pub, a once-popular tavern that closed in 2007. 

The apartment complex would be built by Lokre Cos. and would be five stories tall, with 48 one- and two-bedroom apartments. The first floor would also offer 3,000 square feet of retail space, according to the proposal

Lokre Cos., based in Plover, is asking that the city sell the land to the company for $500,000 and provide a $250,000 grant for site work, as well as a $99,000 in tax refunds  for 12 years. 

The proposed apartments will feature retail space, 48 apartments and underground parking. 

The city had one other proposal for 120 Scott St., a Cobblestone Hotel & Suites, which would have boasted 61 guest rooms. The city did not move forward with the proposal because an agreement couldn't be reached with the company, said Christian Schock, Wausau's economic development director. 

If the City Council approves of the Lokre apartment complex, according to the proposal, construction would begin as soon as possible, Schock said. Once completed, one-bedroom units would likely be rented out for $895 a month, and two-bedroom units would be rented for $1,095 a month, with 12- and 24-month leases. 

In addition to a downtown location, the apartment building would offer a rooftop community area, underground parking and a workout room, according to the proposal. Below the apartments, the retail area would offer space for outdoor patio seating, an idea meant to attract a new coffee shop or restaurant.

If the Economic Development Committee approves the proposal Thursday, it will be sent to the City Council for final approval later this year. 

Click Here to read the full story.

Streetwise: Blackash boutique opens in downtown Wausau

By:  Laura Schulte, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Women in Wausau have a new place to shop for affordable fashion, thanks to Ashley Mantor. 

Mantor, a Wausau native, opened her boutique, Blackash Urban Goods and Clothing, for the first time on Saturday, allowing shoppers to see all of the trendy women's clothing, accessories and unique gift items she has to offer.

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Blackash, located at 328 Washington St., has been in the works for months. Work started on the space, which once housed Brooklyn Taste, earlier this year and wrapped up just in time for the start of the holiday shopping season, which was Mantor's goal. 

The store offers a mix of clothing and goods from about 30 different designers and vendors from all over the world, to ensure that the products are different from other stores in Wausau. Prices at Blackash range from about $15 and can reach as much as $100 or more, depending on what is being bought. 

Mantor said that the opening exceeded her expectations and that more than 200 people filed in and out of the store over the course of the day. 

Blackash is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and closed on Sunday and Monday. 

For more information or to see what the store has to offer, visit the Blackash Urban Goods and Clothing Facebook page

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Streetwise: New stores, restaurant and beauty studio open

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By:  Laura Schulte with USA Today Network Wisconsin

 If you're looking for a new place to pick out the perfect holiday gifts, downtown Wausau has three new businesses to check out. 

Poppy's Boutique and Uff Da! offer up some new products, while Daly's Restaurant provides the perfect place for a post-shopping cocktail. 

And if you need a little pampering for yourself after all that shopping, make sure to make an appointment at V Beauty House. 

Here's this week's business news from Wausau: 

Downtown boutique, restaurant open for business

Shoppers can now add two new spots to stop during their downtown trips. 

Daly's restaurant, located at 307 Third St., opened on Oct. 26, serving craft cocktails, craft beer and charcuterie plates. The restaurant plans to start serving food once the kitchen is completed, a Facebook post said. 

And around the corner, Poppy's Boutique, 316 Washington St., opened on Oct. 28, giving women a new place to shop for ethically-produced clothing. 

The store also offers jewelry and accessories for women, and owner Raissa Dupuis hopes to add men's and children's clothing in the new year, if business goes well for the store. 

There's a new tenant in the mall, and he's aiming to bring a little Norwegian culture to Wausau. 

Russ Erickson is the owner of Uff Da!, which opened on Oct. 28 in Wausau Center mall, after relocating from Rothschild. The store sells signs, as well as hand-made wooden furniture and hand-made woolen mittens. 

The name of the store comes from Erickson's Norwegian heritage, having grown up hearing his family members utter the phrase when under stress. 

Uff Da! opened eight and a half years ago in the Cedar Creek mall, and closed this spring so that Erickson and his wife could take their signs on the road to different shows across the state, such as the Iola car show. He was planning on reopening in Rothschild this winter, but after a trip to the mall, decided to take a leap and reopen in downtown. 

Erickson plans to keep the store open through the spring at least. 

Vanexa Yang has always loved makeup, and after searching for a career that fit her, skin care came naturally. 

Yang opened V Beauty House in April as a makeup studio, and expanded in October to include skin care like facials. Her studio is located in Schofield, at 1326 Schofield Ave., and offers customers a personalized, comfortable environment for their treatments. 

Yang, who has had eight years of experience doing makeup for T.V., movies and models, now does makeup for any occasion, including photographs and weddings. She also offers makeup lessons, so that women can learn how to use their makeup to its fullest. 

Wausau river district hosts 25th annual Christmas on First open house

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By:  Neena Pacholke with WAOW

Business owners in Wausau's River District welcomed many shoppers and holiday spirit into their doors over the weekend.

The 25th annual Christmas on First Open House featured many stores on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Avenues, including The Needle Workshop and River District's Antiques. 

"It's a terrific weekend," said River District Antique's Owner, Jim Schaefer. "Yesterday [was] fabulous and today has been so far really really good."

Community members spent their weekend spreading holiday cheer going through the different stores. 

"It has become a neighborhood event so people will run into friends and stop and have little chats, and it's really a wonderful thing," Kari Bender, owner of The Needle Workshop, said.

Bender has been a part of every single Christmas on First Open House. 

"It started out to just kind of get people in the holiday spirit because with the things that we carry, people need to get started early if they're going to complete their projects in time for Christmas so it just seemed like a nice thing to be able to work with our neighbors and get people to go back and forth through different shops that they might not otherwise visit," Bender said.

"It gets to be a good time of the year, people are a little bit looser, a little bit more friendly," Schaefer said. 

The two-day event wrapped up on Sunday. 

Click Here to watch the full story.

Jingle bells and awesome sells; the 25th annual Christmas on First

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By:  Erin Freiderich with WSAW

The 25th annual Christmas on First began November 4th in Wausau's downtown river district.

New this year, a free trolley was available to run shoppers from the east side of the river to the west side.

Shoppers looked forward to a first chance, and sneak peek at holiday gifts, refreshments, door prizes, and a chance at a grand prize basket.

Businesses participating in the year's event include Blossons and Bows, Builer's Cycles & Fitness, Buttermilk Creek, Dime and Dollar Thrift Store, Navieve Fromagerie, Needle Workshop, and River District Antiques.

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Christmas on First is back for its 25th year in Wausau

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By:  Holly Chilsen with WZAW

Christmas on First returns to Wausau for its 25th year this weekend.

The annual event offers a first chance and sneak peek at holiday gifts at stores on First, Second, and Third Avenues with refreshments, door prizes and a chance at a grand prize basket.

It takes place On Saturday, November 4 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, November 5 from noon to 4 p.m.

Elves from Wausau West Key Club will also roam the streets 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday as well.

Elizabeth Brodek, director of the Wausau River District joined WZAW News at 4 on Friday to explain what shoppers can expect.

She said new this year, a trolley will run shoppers to and from the east side of the river, at the 400 Block or Grant Street to Alexander and Second Avenue, and Clark Street and Second Avenue on the near west side. The trolley is free to ride and will run on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Brodek said the event is a great way to get people excited for the holidays, while at the same time supporting local businesses. She said a majority of the sales come right back to the area to boost its economy.

This year’s participating businesses include Blossoms and Bows, Builer’s Cycles & Fitness, Buttermilk Creek, Dime and Dollar Thrift Store, Navieve Fromagerie, Needle Workshop and River District Antiques.

Check the Christmas on First event page on Downtown Wausau River District’s Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.

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