Shrek Jr, Solstic Summit, Wings of Halcyon and more this weekend

Shrek Jr: The Musical 

Thursday, Sat-Sun, 6/13, 6/15-6 | Grand Theater, Wausau 

The Penguin Project nearly had to fold its doors over the past two years, by their own words — but now they’re back, and unstoppable! For those who aren’t aware, The Penguin Project works with people aged 8-22 with special needs or disabilities and works with mentors to assist them in working on a play. Here the Penguin Project will put on Shrek Jr.: The Musical. Shrek is the story of an ogre living peacefully in the swamp in solitude until his peace and quiet is invaded by zany fairy tale characters and he’s drawn into a world of intrigue and adventure. $15, $12 youth, children 0-7 $5. 6:30 pm Thursday and Saturday, 1 pm Sunday.

Solstice Summit 

Saturday 6/15 | Granite Peak, Rib Mountain

Ready for a challenge? IronBull has been bringing some super tough athletic challenges, and its Solstice Summit is every bit that description. Considered the toughest mile in the Midwest, you can race against your fellow athletes to reach the top in three different categories, from a fun run to a challenging ruck division where you must carry at least 10 pounds on your back to the summit, climbing up rocks toward the top of the ski hill. I did that division last year, and it’s definitely a challenge — about halfway up no one is really running anymore. It’s just too steep. If you want to challenge yourself in a course with 700 feet of climbing in a single file, you can still sign up at (find “Soltice Summit” under the “events” tab). (And if you really want to challenge yourself, you can do all three categories as one thing, called the “triple bypass.’’) Packet pickup is 4-6:30 pm, races kick off with a kids run at 5 pm.

Whitewater Park Rec release 

Saturday 6/15 | Whitewater Park, Wausau 

Whitewater Park is one of Wausau’s hidden gems. Literally — when it’s not in use as a whitewater park, the water levels are changed to where it appears to be just a nice scenic part of the river. But during these rec releases, the water is turned into that gushing, churning variety that attracts kayakers from around the world. They also attract plenty of folks to the park to watch kayakers do all those cool flips and twists and go underwater momentarily before emerging. (Not to mention, plenty of photogs to get it all on “film.”) Kayakers also camp out along the shore but feel free to swing down and watch them practice. 

Movie in the Park 

Thursday, 6/13 | The 400 Block, Wausau 

Concerts on the Square are fun and all, but when you have kids, there is another great alternative – a movie in the park! This series is held throughout the summer with six total movies throughout the summer. This Thursday kicks off the series with Sing 2. Sing 2 is an animated films and continues the tale of Buster Moon and his crew working to put on a show while working to impress someone in the record industry and enlist an A-level musician to join them. Comedy and music combine in this film for the whole family. Bring your lawnchairs and blankets and enjoy the show. 7 pm. Free. Wausau/Marathon County Parks and Rec on Facebook for more or to see the full lineup. 

Kevin Troestler 

Friday, 6/14 | Whitewater Music Hall, Wausau 

Kevin Troestler

Kevin Troestler is one of my favorite country/blues players who plays a lot around the area. The guy can really lay down a country guitar lick or a great blues phrase with the best of them. Troestler cites influences such as Stevie Ray Vaughn and the Allman Brothers Band, and that influence can definitely be heard in his work. The Appleton-based musician has several albums to his name, plays festivals across the country and is well-worth checking out when he’s in town. Plus, plenty of taps from Whitewater’s Brewing operation help add to the fun. 8 pm.

Wings of Halcyon, Embers Rise, Purging Paradise 

Saturday, 6/15 | The Polack Inn, Wausau 

Sometimes you just want to jam out to some really heavy music. Newer Wausau band Wings of Halcyon got what you’re looking for. Fronted by Melissa Rae Hartl, formerly of The Hartless, they’ve been spreading their wings playing throughout the Wisconsin music scene. Wings are joined by Embers Rise and Purging Paradise for a show that ought to blow the roof off the Polack Inn. 9 pm. $5.