Memorial Day Weekend, Paddygrass and other Wausau events

Memorial Day Parade 

Saturday 5/25 | Downtown Wausau 

There’s something about a parade — they go back to a different time when seeing your ordinary, sleepy downtown street turn into a flurry of excitement and procession would have been highly anticipated. Now we have Netflix and UFC and other forms of thrilling entertainment, but there’s something visceral about parades that still draw us in. And there’s no better reason than to attend to honor all of those who fell in battle to preserve our freedoms. We owe those soldiers a lot, and the parade honors that. The Memorial Day Parade starts at 11 am at Trinity Lutheran Church and traverses down Stewart Avenue to Opportunity Inc. Adding to that, there is also a Memorial Day Ceremony at Restlawn Cemetery at 11 am May 27, Monday. 

Jenny Don’t and the Spurs 

Friday 5/31 | Lamplight Sessions, Mosinee 

Jenny Dont and the Spurs

Jenny Don’t has a really interesting background. She had gained some fame as a punk singer in Portland when she started a side project, Jenny Don’t and the Spurs, an old-school, rockabilly-style country band. It’s in her blood though — Don’t’s Uncle wrote the rockabilly classic Black Cadillac, which Don’t sometimes covers. The side project took off and now Jenny Don’t and the Spurs is the main project, touring the country and appearing on music videos on YouTube. The band will be joined by Minneapolis country-folk act Pit Stop, which ranges from country swing to Sheryl Crow-style folk-pop. $38. 7 pm. (Note, these Lamplight Sessions shows tend to sell out fast. We’re trying to include them farther in advance.)


Thursday, 5/23 | Q&Z Expo Center, Ringle 

You know the kind of music Plush brings. No fancy bells or whistles here – just Ibanez guitars with hard-driving, distorted riffs and pretty straightforward song structures. It’s the sound of the nu-metal era and I’ve always thought it sounds better with a female voice. This all-woman group is also known for playing Heart covers such as “Barracuda” but they’ve got plenty of their own music as well, with some of them hitting the Billboard Top 40. They’re joined by The Almas. 6 pm. $15, $20 at the door.

Scaled-Up Reptile Show 

Sunday 5/26 | Central Wisconsin Expo Center, Rothschild 

If reptiles, amphibians and even spiders are your thing, then this Scaled-Up Reptile show is where you want to be. The show features some of the top breeders, keepers and educators in the space, along with plenty of vendors with everything from crickets for feeding to cages and artwork. This is your one-stop reptile shop! 11 am-3 pm, $5; children 5 and under, free. Special VIP ticket at $14 for entrance at 10 am.

Spring Wildflower Hike 

Saturday 5/25 | Rib Mountain State Park 

Really, just about any time of the year is a good one to take a hike on Rib Mountain. But this one is extra special as the wildflowers are really starting to pop up! This hike will follow the quarry-side trails that leave from Grouse Lane. Expect about 1 1/2 hours of hiking, and make sure to bring bug and tick repellant. Some of these trails are a bit steep and will give you a good workout, so be prepared! 10 am. Keep an eye on Friends of Rib Mountain on Facebook for updates on the event based on the weather. 


Friday 5/24 | Sawmill Brewing Company, Merrill

If you’ve never seen a really good Irish-folk band, then you’re in for a treat! Paddygrass has an all-star lineup of musicians that it’s gathered over the course of the 15 years it has been in existence. The result is a talented team of singers, fiddlers, guitarists, bassists and drummers, not to mention horns instruments I haven’t heard of, and even a flautist (really, I just wanted to use that word, but they really do have one!). Sometimes at bigger shows they’re accompanied by the Milwaukee Irish Dance Company, but here you’ll likely have to provide the Irish dancing yourself (a couple of pints from Sawmill’s onsite brewery oughta help). 7 pm.