Community Update – NightSeeing, Cranberry Blossom Festival and WSAW-TV’s “Your Town”

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NightSeeing Event

Thanks to the impressive spirit of commitment by residents, property owners and investors- and the kickoff of our Riverbank Green Space and Recreation Preliminary Design project, our City stands ready to make the Wisconsin Rapids Downtown area truly a centerpiece of which will activate the spaces surrounding it.  In order to ensure continued success, this process requires imaginative thinking and citizen participation.

DSC_0027On Wednesday, June 3, we invited residents to hear and share ideas about revitalizing our Downtown riverfront environment during the nighttime hours – and then, experience an up-close look at the possibilities, during an evening walk along the river.

“NightSeeing” was conducted by Leni Schwendinger, a lighting designer/artist with Arup, an international firm of designers, planners, engineers, and technical specialists. During the NightSeeing walk, Ms. Schwendinger and her design team offered insights on the impact of lighting by pointing out the effects of existing lighting choices; envisioning the opportunities for enhancements; and inviting residents to take a critical look at lighting options and to express their preferences.

A video recap of the event can be found here:

Designed to spark community engagement and open minds to new approaches and imaginative DSC_5235ideas, NightSeeing programs have been held in the United States, Colombia, London and Australia. As Mayor of Wisconsin Rapids, I feel it is important that our public spaces be activated beyond the hours of daylight. We light our streets, how about our public spaces, too?  A vital element in realizing that vision includes creative lighting.

The “NightSeeing” event ties into the Riverbank Green Space and Recreation Plan, which will incorporate improvements along the east and west banks of the river within the City limits. Supermass Studios, the company hired for the plan, sub-contracted Arup for structural engineering and lighting design.

There will be further engagement opportunities for your participation in the coming months. We expect to have recommendations on the Riverbank Green Space in late summer.  In the meantime, we continue to act to reinvigorate a critical piece of our community- our core central business district.

Blossom Fest

blossomfestThis week marked the start of the 2015 Cranberry Blossom Festival!  This year’s Fest runs through
Sunday, and features something for every member of the family – a total of nearly 20 events, including live music, arts and crafts, exhibits, a variety of foods from local vendors, and our annual grand parade.  See a brief recap at River Cities Community Access Media.

Some of the featured events include:

  • Arts, Crafts and Cranberries Fair
    Saturday, June 20, from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at Witter Field
    You’ll find a treasure trove of crafts, framed art, pottery and cranberry-themed products.
  • Cranberry Blossom Festival Carnival
    Friday-Sunday, June 19-21, at Witter Field
    Families can enjoy carnival rides, games and food throughout the weekend.
  • Cranberry Blossom Fest Parade
    Sunday, June 21 at 12:00 noon, Downtown
    Our colorful parade along Grand Avenue this year features members of the University of Wisconsin Marching Band, who will follow up at 3 p.m. with a performance at Witter Field.

For full details on all the events, Blossomfest.com.  Look forward to seeing you at the events!

600x-YTown-Road-SignWSAW Promotes “Our Town”!

This week, WSAW-Channel 7 news anchors and reporters have created stories throughout the community, for its week-long “Your Town” feature. The feature included live broadcasts for its 5:00 and 6:00PM newscasts at locations around our community highlighting much of what Wisconsin Rapids has to offer!

View the great exposure WSAW and area businesses provided Wisconsin Rapids right here.  I had a good time closing out the Live 6pm broadcast from Witter Field last night with news anchors Jeff Thelen, Heather Sahr and Director of Meteorology, Chris Nelson- Thanks Guys!

I hope to see you around this weekend! 

Thanks for reading,

Mayor Zach Vruwink

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