Wausau events worth checking out for the week of May 11, 2023

Lewis Black 

Thursday 5/18 | GRAND THEATER, WAUSAU 

Lewis Black is one angry dude – and that’s part of why he’s so funny! Known as the King of the Rant, Black over his long career in comedy has had numerous specials on HBO, Showtime and Comedy Central. You might not know he’s also written 40 plays and is very involved in charitable work as well. He even provided the voice for Anger in Pixar’s Academy Award-winnigng film Inside Out. (A natural fit, really.) Black is no stranger to central Wisconsin, and it’s always a treat when he brings his comedic energy to town. Be prepared to get angry, and laugh your tuckus off. 7:30 pm. $45-$79, a limited number of tickets are available to college students at $25. grandtheater.org

Wausau Children’s Festival 

Saturday, May 13 | Marathon Park, Wausau

Ever want to take your kids on a wildlife safari? That’s probably a bit expensive for most families, but the Wausau and Marathon County Parks Department has you covered with its annual Wausau Children’s Festival. Held at Marathon Park in the ice rink building No. 2, this year’s theme is African Wildlife Safari. Your kids can enjoy a bouncy house, arts and crafts, fire trucks, therapy dogs, magic shows, face painting and so much more. Plus, Taste of Manila will be on hand with some tasty food offerings for sale. Event is free. 10 am-3 pm. Search Wausau & Marathon County Parks and Recreation Department on Facebook for more information. 

Growing Raspberries 

Wednesday, May 17 | Marathon County Public Library, Wausau

Let’s face it, prices for food have gotten out of control in the last couple of years. And though some prices have started to come down a bit, it might not be a bad idea to start growing more of your own food. This program from UW-Extension might be a good start – this lecture will teach you to grow your own raspberries. Led by UW-Extension’s horticulture expert Janelle Wehr, the program will cover everything to do with raspberries including plant selection, planting, maintenance and pest control. Wednesday’s sessions include a 10 am time and a 6 pm time, and there will be a 6 pm Thursday May 18 session at Mosinee High School. Free, register at https://marathon.extension.wisc.edu/ under horticulture programs.

Basketball Divorce Court 

Thursday, May 11 | Polack Inn, Wausau 

I have to admit, the name intrigued me. I didn’t realize at first that Basketball Divorce Court was actually a band until I saw that Polack Inn was involved. BDC isn’t going to be for the casual listener — a mix of speed metal and punk, this band is young, angry and has a lot of strong opinions. (Hey, it wouldn’t be punk if they didn’t!) Joining this Minneapolis/Iowa City act is Careful Gaze and Wausau favorites CASHED, which City Pages has written about before. 9 pm. $5. Find more by searching Polack Inn on Facebook. 

The Short Pay Riders 

Saturday, May 13 | Malarkey’s Pub, Wausau 

Many of you probably guitarist Harold Melo from the band Substyle that was starting to take the area by storm before the pandemic. Melo partnered with country singer John Pearson to form the Short Pay Riders, and the combination is a great blend of Pearson’s Nick Cave-like vocals vocals and Melo’s skilled guitar mixed with some inspiration from his native Peru. The first album is a great piece of Americana art, and now The Short Pay Riders have a second album coming out. 8 pm. Malarkeyspub.com

Early Eyes

Friday, May 12 | Lamplight Sessions, Mosinee

Early Eyes has such a unique sound — part pop, part jazz fusion that almost makes one imagine a modern Millennial version of Steely Dan in its arrangements (including some very Donald Fagen-esque keyboard fills). This Minneapolis-based pop-jazz-R&B band is bringing its unique, chill sound to Lamplight Sessions, the area’s hottest new music venue. Imagine Steely Dan mixed with Tame Impala, and it all working as a fun pop beat and skillful melodies, and you have a sense of what Early Eyes is all about. 7 pm. Ticket info at lamplightsessions.com.