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International Fall Fest returns to downtown Eau Claire

International Fest will be awash in red, white, and blue

Steve Freuhauf, photos by Andrea Paulseth

After a one-year absence – during which a scaled-back festival dubbed Celebrate Eau Claire was held instead – the International Fall Festival is returning to downtown Eau Claire. More than 100 different food and craft vendors, along with numerous street performances, will occupy four blocks of South Barstow Street from 11am to 6pm on Saturday, Sept. 20. From Lake Street to Gibson Street, downtown Eau Claire will be immersed in what has become one of the most popular local festivals for almost four decades. We’re talking about ethnic foods and crafts, a kids carnival, a petting zoo, pony rides, and more. While the festival includes a parade every year, Downtown Eau Claire Inc. spokeswoman Salina Heller said the 2014 edition will incorporate a little twist. The 3pm parade will feature a “Red, White, and Blue” theme in honor of Eau Claire being named an All-America City in June. Heller encourages community members to wear these colors in support. The Blugold Marching Band will be putting on a 30-minute performance immediately after the parade as well. The International Fall Festival has withstood the test of time, Heller said, and Eau Claire locals have really grown to appreciate it year after year because it has been around for so long. She said it’s a great way for people to be reminded and, thus, continue to appreciate all that the downtown area has to offer through business and beauty.