Gazebo Nights at Normal Park: Copperbox
THURSDAY 8/25 | NORMAL PARK, MERRILL
This Wisconsin band is a staple of outdoor concerts around the Midwest, but especially around here. Channeling the rowdy feels of a small-town party, this genre-bending band celebrates the fusion of roots and rock with a refreshing Americana sound peppered with zydeco and humor. Based in Oshkosh, this quartet is loaded with energy and features a mountain of instruments, such as guitar, saxophone, percussion, flute, button accordion, piano, sousaphone, drums, bass, ukulele and more. The Wisconsin Blues Society states that, “This group cooks and swings with some of the best Zydeco-influenced groups I’ve seen anywhere in the country.” Starts at 6 pm. 715-536-6972.
Bluegrass in the Pines
THURS.-SAT. 8/25-8/27 | ROSHOLT FAIR PARK, ROSHOLT
This annual, non-stop festival weekend of bluegrass brings bands from around Wisconsin and the United States. Aside from the sweaty mess you’ll work yourself into dancing to the music, you’ll find fun events on Saturday including music workshops and the Pioneer Village Historical Site antique sawmill demo. Meals and refreshments available on site. The festival happens rain or shine with shows taking place under a large tent. Bring your lawn chairs or stand up front in the dancing area. Sponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio. Starts at 8 pm on Thurs. and noon on Fri. & Sat. $10 Thurs. admission, $25 Fri. admission, $25 Sat. admission, $5 per night camping. Details at highwatermusic.com/BluegrassInThePines.
Hip Pocket in the Biergarten
FRIDAY 8/26 | BULL FALLS BREWERY, WAUSAU
This powerful, popular local band is formed of a seasoned group of musicians from central, northern, and eastern Wisconsin. And do these guys love making music and getting a crowd worked up. With a striking lead, four-part harmony vocals, a blazing four-piece horn section, and a rockin’ rhythm section, this band plays everything from favorite top 40 hits to R&B, Latin fusion, jazz, classic rock and more. Starts at 6 pm. Details at Bullfallsbrewery.com.
Hope in the Park with Danny Gokey
SUNDAY 8/28 | MARATHON PARK, WAUSAU
This free community event features Grammy-nominated Chrstian artist Danny Gokey! The Milwaukee singer rose to fame during his time on American Idol in 2009. Since the show, Gokey has embraced a soulful Christian pop sound. It’s a day full of fun with a variety of activities, entertainment and food vendors for the entire family. Gates open at 1:30 pm and Danny Gokey takes the stage at 4pm. Details 89q.org.
49th Annual Edgar Steam Show
FRI.-SUN. 8/26-8/28 | 223755 STEAM HILL DRIVE, EDGAR
You don’t have to be a tractor enthusiast to appreciate the “wow” factor of all those steel wheels and steam power on display. You’ll see hundreds of antique tractors, machinery, engines, a sawmill and more, with working demos daily. Family-friendly activities happen across the farm, including historical re-creations of an old gas station, a blacksmith shop and a rural school house. A huge flea market with over 350 vendors runs daily 8 am-5 pm, there’s an antique machine parade Sunday at 1 pm, and you won’t want to miss the spark show Saturday night—like mini fireworks when operators rev up the engines in a special way. Live country, rock and polka music plays throughout the weekend and if you get hungry, enjoy food and beverage vendors are on site. If you want to stay all weekend, camping is available. Gates open at 6 am. Admission $10 adult daily, $25 weekend, free under 12. Gates open daily at 6 am.
That Day in September: An Air Traffic Controller’s Perspective
MONDAY 8/29 | LUCILLE TACK CENTER FOR THE ARTS, SPENCER
Chris Tucker, an air traffic controller, shares his experiences about working in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. Tucker, who lives in Long Island,, was working as an air traffic controller in New York City when the World Trade Center was attacked on 9/11. He discusses and answers questions about what it was like to make split-second decisions about airline traffic on that tragic day in one of the busiest cities in the world. He’ll also talk in more broad and general terms about the duties and responsibilities of an air traffic controller. Presented by Marathon County Public Library. Starts at 5:30 pm. Free. 715-659-3996.