(First published in the February 20, 2020 issue of City Pages)
FRIDAY 2/21 | MALARKEY’S, WAUSAU
From Minneapolis, Rossi’s R&B, funk, blues and rock-infused music is catchy and fun. This vocalist, guitarist and songwriter has been performing for more than 15 years and knows how to put on an outstanding show. His vocals have been compared to Gavin DeGraw, and he’s shared the stage with famed bands including Chicago, Blues Traveler, Eric Hutchinson, and Steve Miller Band. This talented dude’s tunes are sure to get you groovin’ and dancin’. 10 pm. 715-819-3663.
FRIDAY 2/21 | ELBOW ROOM, STEVENS POINT
With a smooth and smoky voice, this Door County artist has a warm and honest sound that’s both contemporary and rooted in tradition. Adept at guitar and piano, Heyward also writes the songs she sings, ranging from pop to Americana. She’s opened for Grammy winners and has shared the stage with national touring acts and performers who have written songs for some of the biggest names in music. According to AmericanaUK, “She shines with lilting vocals, sharply clever lyrics, and a distinctly country hued musicality that should be able to win over both traditional and more modern fans of the genre alike.” 8 pm. 715-344-9840.
SATURDAY 2/22 | INTERMISSION, WAUSAU
This folk and rock trio from Milwaukee presents a fresh brand of Americana music that feeds from folk, classic rock, soul and bluegrass genres. A 2018 Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) nominee for best Bluegrass/Americana Artist, the band has a soulful stage presence with tunes full of infectious melodies, with each song painting a portrait of the band member’s varying musical backgrounds. According to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “every note and expression is full of feeling.” 9:30 pm. 715-849-9377.
American Indians in the Civil War
SATURDAY 2/22 | WOODSON HISTORY CENTER, WAUSAU
Professor Brett Barker explores the role native people played in the Civil War. From the battlefield, to diplomacy, to the long struggle for control of the American West, American Indians appeared in many significant and rarely mentioned aspects of the conflict. Part of History Speaks. 2 pm. Free admission. 715-842-5750.
Them Coulee Boys
SATURDAY 2/22 | WHITEWATER MUSIC HALL, WAUSAU
Playing a blend of Americana, folk, punk, bluegrass and rock, these boys are sure to get you up and dancing to the beat of their guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass and kick drum. Founded in late 2013, this Eau Claire group has become a force in the Midwest music scene and it’s hard to not have a good time with their contagiously fun stage presence and high energy performances. Be sure to listen, as their songs are full of heart and relatable moments. For ages 21+. Music starts 8 pm. $12. On Facebook.
Wausau Polar Plunge
SATURDAY 2/22 | SUNNY VALE PARK
In 2019, 240 brave souls jumped into the cold and icy lake to benefit the Special Olympics, raising more than $50,000! The annual fundraiser is not only exciting for the daring folks who participate, it’s just as exciting to watch. You’ll see people dressed in wacky and crazy costumes take the plunge while enjoying live rock music by Knock Point. Plunging and live music at noon. Details, register: specialolympicswisconsin.org.
Vintage Snowmobile Show & Ride, Balloon Glow & Dog Sled Races
SAT.-SUN. 2/22-23 | WILLOW SPRINGS, WAUSAU
This winter festival gets bigger each year, adding a vintage snowmobile show and hot air balloons in recent years. This year, balloon flights are scheduled for 9 am both days (weather permitting). On Saturday, you can enjoy tethered balloon rides 4-5 pm for $5, get your picture taken in a balloon basket, and watch another balloon flight at 3 pm, followed by a balloon glow around the barn at 5:30 pm.
Most of the events happen on Saturday, including the Vintage Snowmobile Show and Ride. The day is jam-packed with tons of other winter fun including snowshoeing, sleigh rides, sled dog races, Iditarod education, snow painting, face painting, and much more. Like most events held a Willow Springs, tons of food is available, including an Alaskan-style dinner on Saturday. Details and full schedule at events at willowspringsgarden.net and on Facebook.
Silver Pageant of Central Wisconsin
SATURDAY 2/22 | WAUSAU EAST AUDITORIUM
This is not your typical beauty pageant. This special show honors 12 wonderful women in the community who have reached the “age of elegance” (75 and older). These nominees take the stage donned in gowns to display their inner beauty, talents, history and legacy. Hear these women share their lives and accomplishment with generations to come. 2 pm. Free admission. On Facebook: Wausau Area Silver Pageant.
Return to the Fold: Robert J. Lang Artist Residency
SAT.-SUN. 2/22-23 | WOODSON ART MUSEUM, WAUSAU
Robert J. Lang is perhaps one of the most famous origami artists in the U.S. He’s been featured in national news, national magazines, and if you’re wondering why, check out his TEDTalk, “The Math and Magic of Origami.” Lang merges mathematics with aesthetics to create mesmerizing forms. He set aside his day job as a laser physicist to focus on the art and science of origami, and became a pioneer of the cross-disciplinary marriage of origami with mathematics, developing some of the most complex origami designs ever created. His art exemplifies how applying math and computer programming to origami revolutionizes this ancient art form. 715-845-7010.
From Paper to Steel: Origami in Other Media · Sat. Lang describes his experiences producing origami forms in diverse mathematical scales. 1-2 pm.
Origami Gallery Walk · Sat. Join Lang for his impressions, insights into the artwork on view. 2:30-3:30 pm
Artistic Folding Techniques · Sun. Teens and adults learn “wet-folding” techniques used to add dimension & definition to subjects. 10 am-1 pm. $35 members, $50 general. Registration required: 715-845-7010
Modular Origami · Sun. Fold and interlock multiple pieces of paper to create three-dimensional polyhedral. Those under 12 must be accompanied by adult. 2-5 pm. $35 for members and adult/ child pairs, $50 non-members and adult/ child pairs. Registration required: 715-845-7010
The Choir of Man
TUESDAY 2/25 | GRAND THEATER, WAUSAU
It’s a party. It’s a concert. It’s a pint-filled good time. This show is set in a pub (with a working bar!) and combines hair-raising harmonies, high-energy dance, and live percussion with foot-stomping choreography. The multi-talented cast of nine handsome blokes from Ireland and the UK sings everything – pub tunes, folk, Broadway, classic rock – all to roof-raising heights. You’ll hear the music of Paul Simon, Adele, Queen, Guns N’ Roses, Sia and many more. It’s the best singing, dancing, stomping, pub crawl of a concert you’ll ever attend. 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $25. Grandtheater.org.
For more HIGHLIGHTS and a full list of events happening in the Wausau area, pick up a City Pages or view our event listings here!