Despite Frigid Temps, New Year’s Shindig Raised $42K for Confluence

Tom Giffey

Images: Visit Eau Claire
Images: Visit Eau Claire

The year that will see the official opening of the Confluence Arts Center began with a successful fundraiser for the much-anticipated downtown arts venue. The second-annual “Light Up Eau Claire” New Year’s Eve celebration raised $42,000 for the Confluence, Visit Eau Claire announced this week. This topped the previous year’s total despite the subzero conditions that threatened to keep many New Year’s revelers at home and indoors.

“It warmed our hearts to see families, couples, groups of friends, and business colleagues enjoying the indoor venues, and even bundling up for the lantern parades and fireworks,” said Linda John, executive director of Visit Eau Claire. “The arts vibe was incredible, with live music, a spectacular Lumière Claire lantern creation by artisan Pam Rindo, food, and fireworks displays all representative of the depth of Eau Claire’s creative culture and local talent.”

In addition to celebrating the new year and raising funds for the Confluence, the downtown events that welcomed the new year were designed to help draw visitors to Eau Claire during the winter. The money raised will go toward the operating reserve fund for the Confluence Art Center, which will include two theaters, galleries, a visual arts studio, and labs for set design, recording, sound, lighting, and costume design.

Ideas are already in the works for the Light Up Eau Claire events that will welcome 2019. “We still really want to have a rooftop viewing party for the fireworks, and will be charting weather contingencies moving forward,” John said.

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