Sunday, Sep. 20th, 2009
Saturday, Sep. 19th, 2009

Saturday: International Fall Festival

Last year, a record 20,000 patrons scattered the streets of downtown to enjoy the annual celebration that has come to be known as the city’s biggest event. International Fall Festival is a commemoration of culture, as participants have a taste of the diverse worldly food, music, dance, and heritage that can be found in the Chippewa Valley.

This year’s festival is slated for Sept. 19, from about 10am to 6pm. The event will once again feature such popular features as the RCU Parade of Nations, which kicks off at 3pm with floats, bands, flags, and performers trekking Barstow Street. The Xcel Energy World Stage will once again draw people toward the Four Corners parking lot for musicians and performers of all kinds.

Make sure you come on down to 17 S. Barstow Street and say hello to all us Volume One people. We’ll have lots of local merch for sale.

Also on Saturday: Here We Grow Again Children's Sale, Walk4Life, 3rd Annual Apples & Art Tour, Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum's 75th Anniversary, Oktoberfest, Caddie Woodlawn, EverGreen Grass Band, Always... Patsy Cline, and Farms + Panda Teeth.

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Friday, Sep. 18th, 2009
Thursday, Sep. 17th, 2009

Dodgeball is coming

Go dodgeball! The Eau Claire Parks and Recreation has added Dodgeball to their list of activities. With the decline in men’s basketball over the years and the gym space available, the decision to add dodgeball was simple. Recreation Aid Jenny Vick said, “We thought the community might like dodgeball and it’s a popular activity throughout the Wisconsin and Minnesota area.”

The league will use a Gator Skin dodgeball, which we all know from our experience in gym class is both durable and lightweight, great for whipping at someone, but not so hot if you get wailed in the face with. Vick said only a few teams have signed up so far, but hopes more will follow. The bombardment league needs eight teams and they are currently offering two winter sessions, each eight weeks.

“We want people to know it’s open. There can be all guy teams, teams with mostly girls, and anyone can be on the floor playing; there aren’t any restrictions for that,” says Vick. Each night will consist of a best of seven games match-up between two teams of six (players can rotate in and out between games, if needed).

DETAILS: Parks and Rec Dodgeball League • Tuesdays, Nov. 3 to Dec. 22, or Jan. 5 to Feb. 23 • South Middle School gym, 2115 Mitscher Ave., Eau Claire • game times are 6:30, 7, 7:30, and 8pm • $160 a team • ages 18 and up • 839-5032 • Registration required by Oct. 23 and Dec. 11

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Wednesday, Sep. 16th, 2009

Local Hero: Joan McVinnie

Heroism comes in many forms. Some heroes run into burning buildings to save lives. Some heroes leap in to raging rivers to save puppies. And some heroes gather up all of the world’s nuclear weapons, fly into space, and hurl them into the sun. But Joan McVinnie? She works at the McDonalds in Chippewa Falls next to the Pizza Hut. And she’s done so for 30 friggin’ years. From the Chippewa Herald

  • Yes, that’s right, McVinnie has worked at McDonald’s for three decades. She reported for work last Thursday to start her fourth decade.
  • “We have such a great bunch of people here. Everyone gets along,” said McVinnie, who was somewhat embarrassed at the fuss being made over her when she returned to work.

Wow, hats off to Joan. Obviously, she’s lovin’ it. (I’m assuming the name is just a coincidence.) The first job I ever had was a summer landscaping gig. And I did it for about seven years. I planted a lot of the Chippewa Valley’s grass in that time, not to mention a respectable amount of charming shrubbery.

I haven’t held a lot of jobs in my lifetime (four), and I liked all of them. But when I was landscaping, there were days I spent with my nostrils caked with dirt, dehydrated from the hot-hot sun, with 150,000 gnats swarming around me like a living blizzard of evil. I do not believe these days strengthened my character. I believe these days strengthened my arsenal of dirty angry swear words.

What’s the worse job you ever had?

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