HIGHLIGHTS: June 15-16

(First published in the June 14, 2018 issue of City Pages)

Summer Kickoff Weekend




School’s out and the season in the sun has begun. And the first thing kids want is bust bedtime rules. They can do that at the Friday party at Oak Island park with music, a photo booth, inflatable bounce houses, crafts, a fun run, balloon animals, fun run races, face painting and more. Activities run 5-9 pm, then bring out lawn chairs and blankets to watch the charming Disney movie Moana outdoors and under the stars.

The weekend continues Sunday in downtown Wausau with the Father’s Day Classic Car Show. More than 80 cars from yesteryear until now will be on display, with live music by Carmen Lee & The Tomorrow River Two playing rockabilly and Americana starting at 10:30 am, and the always fabulous Miss High Octane Pinup Contest on the stage at 1 pm. In this family-friendly show, ladies costume up in retro “pinup” style from the 1930s–60s. Women from all over the state appear, dressed to impress like Marilyn Monroe, Lucille Ball, Bettie Page and more. Sunday events 10 am-3 pm. Details about both days at Wausauevents.org.

Red Eye 10 Year Block Party


Black River Revue


Red Eye Brewing Co. is throwing itself a birthday party, and you’re all invited. Celebrate all day long with live music, a BBQ, beer releases and a silent disco—the music isn’t piped through a speaker system, but instead people listen on wireless headphones and dance to what’s playing. You can imagine the hilarity of watching others dance to silence. Hear bluegrass-Americana from the bands Feed the Dog at 1 pm, Dale Reichert & the Resonators at 3 pm and Black River Revue at 6 pm. The party includes the release of three new beers, so you better come thirsty. 715-843-7334.

Milking Time: Evolution of the Dairy Industry in Marathon County



June is National Dairy Month, so it’s prime time to learn about the local history of dairy farms. The Marathon County Historical Society’s new exhibit traces the evolution of the industry from the 1800s to the 1950s in Marathon County. It’s fascinating to see how dairy farming began and progressed into the dynamic industry Wisconsin is known for around the world. The exhibit shows how, beginning in the 1800s, farms often only had a few cows to provide milk for family use with perhaps some leftover to make into butter or to trade. These early settlers gradually transformed their land into larger farming operations that produced milk for commercial sale. The industry then expanded with creameries and cheese factories that produced a range of dairy products.

The exhibit spans the entire history of how the county and farming practices adapted for the dairy industry. Larger barns were constructed to hold many cows and silos were needed to hold large quantities of hay. Science and educational programs developed and farmers learned how to produce a higher quality and quantity of milk, which increased their profits.

With newspaper clippings, photos, pamphlets, atlases, barn models, a large fiberglass cow, oral history quotes and much more, the history of dairy faming in Wisconsin comes to life. It’s an eye-opening, “udderly” informative display with tons of fascinating facts. Like, did you know cheddar cheese is dyed orange and that cream used to be served out a truck and sold by the ladle?

During the opening day festivities on Saturday, there will be curators on hand to answer questions along with tasting stations and other special activities for all ages. Opening day 1-4:30 pm. Regular hours Tues.-Fri. 9 am-4:30 pm; Sat.-Sun. 1-4:30 pm. 715-842-5750, marathoncountyhistory.org.

For more HIGHLIGHTS a full list of events happening in the Wausau area, pick up a City Pages or view our event listings here!