WHAT’S BEEN CANCELED? The Status of the Valley’s Big Summer Events [UPDATED]
[UPDATES AS OF TUESDAY, JULY 14] – The latest cancellations include the Eau Claire Marathon and the Blue Ox Music Festival. Read on for details.
COVID-19 threw a wrench in the Chippewa Valley’s spring event plans, and it’s doing so for summer events, too. Here’s a list of some of the area’s biggest summer (and fall) events and their current status. If there’s a major event we missed, or if the status of an event has changed, please let us know in the comments below, and we’ll update this list.
MUSIC FESTIVALS / SERIES
BLUE OX MUSIC FESTIVAL
Originally scheduled for June, the annual festival of bluegrass and roots music was been pushed back to August, but organizers finally pulled the plug on July 10. Next year’s gathering is scheduled for June 10-12, 2021. Find details at blueoxmusicfestival.com.
BLUES ON THE CHIPPEWA
The annual Blues on the Chippewa Festival in Durand, originally scheduled for July 31 to Aug. 2, has been canceled. Organizers say the event will return next year: Aug. 6-8, 2021. The festival website has details.
There will be no Country Fest in 2020, either. The festival, held each summer outside Cadott, had been rescheduled from June to August, but on June 5 organizers announced it will not be held this year. Instead, it has been postponed to June 24-26, 2021. Ticket and campsite purchases made for 2020 will be rolled over to 2021, and ticketholders can expect to see an email this week providing details. Find more information at countryfest.com.
COUNTRY JAM USA
Country Jam USA, slated for July 16-18, 2020, has been canceled, organizers announced June 1. Plans are in the works for the next edition of the festival on July 15-17, 2021. Learn more about the postponement here.
EAUX CLAIRES MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL
Organizers confirmed on Friday, May 8, that Eaux Claires wasn’t happening this summer because of the pandemic. (In March, the Eau Claire City Council had passed a resolution allowing Eaux Claires – which had previously been held outside the city on the same grounds as Country Jam – to be held in downtown Eau Claire on July 10-11.)
NORTHWOODS BLUES FEST
The Northwoods Blues Festival, originally planned for June 2020 in Riverfront Park in Chippewa Falls, has been canceled for 2020 and rescheduled to June 18-19, 2021. You can find details at northwoodsbluesfest.com.
This Christian music festival, originally slated for July at the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds in Chippewa Falls, won’t be held in the summer of 2020. According to a statement on the fest’s website, “In cooperation with Chippewa County Health Department and NWSF Fairgrounds facility recommendations, OneFest 2020 has been postponed to July 23-25, 2021. While we are extremely disappointed over this situation, we are also trusting the Lord and looking forward to an amazing festival in 2021.” If you already bought tickets for the 2020 festival, visit the website to learn about your options.
The annual rock ’n’ roll festival outside Cadott, originally scheduled for July 16-18, has been postponed until July 15-17, 2021. “We know this blows, but our hands are tied,” organizers said in an announcement. “Our fans mean the world to us, so this is a tough pill to swallow.”
TUESDAY NIGHT BLUES
The 2020 season of Tuesday Night Blues at Eau Claire’s Owen Park, which typical runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day, has been canceled, the Chippewa Valley Blues Society announced June 22. You can find out more (and order a special “We Got Da COVID Blues” T-shirt) at the Tuesday Night Blues Facebook page.
DUNN COUNTY FAIR
On May 20, the Dunn County Board passed a resolution declaring that this summer’s fair “shall consist only of 4-H and other youth-group related activities that can be conducted remotely.” No in-person events will be held. The fair is expected to return July 21–25, 2021. Find a full update at dunncountyfair.org.
EAU CLAIRE COUNTY FAIR
The Eau Claire County Fair is still scheduled for July 29-Aug. 2 at the Eau Claire County Fairgrounds. According to organizers, a deadline of July 1 has been set to determine if the fair should be canceled. Visit eauclairecountyfair.com for details.
NORTHERN WISCONSIN STATE FAIR
The 123rd edition of the Northern Wisconsin State Fair in Chippewa Falls was canceled on June 1, but organizers are already looking ahead to 2021. Read more details here.
FAMILY NIGHT IN THE PARK
Downtown Eau Claire Inc.’s annual event in Phoenix Park in downtown Eau Claire is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 29. Visit downtowneauclaire.org/familynight for details.
PURE WATER DAYS PARADE & RIVERFEST
Chippewa Falls Main Street announced Thursday that the 45th Annual Pure Water Days Parade and RiverFest, which had been scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 8, have been canceled.
Organizers announced that Spring Fest, which had already been rescheduled twice for 2020, has been postponed for the year. The Chippewa Falls event will be held May 21-22, 2021. Advance tickets sold for 2020 musical performers have been rolled over to next year: Boogie and the Yo-yo’z are scheduled for May 21, 2021, and Chris Kroeze is slated for May 22, 2021. Find full details here.
UWEC SUMMER CINEMA
UW-Eau Claire has officially canceled its Summer Cinema Series, which typically features outdoor screenings of family films on Wednesdays at dusk during the summer months.
CHIPPEWA RIVER BASEBALL LEAGUE
The Eau Claire Cavaliers, a member of the amateur Chippewa River Baseball League, announced June 25 that they would not play this summer. However, nine other teams in the league – including the Eau Claire Bears, the Chippewa Falls Lumberjacks, and the Eau Claire Rivermen – will each play eight games in an abbreviated season that will start the week of July 6, the Chippewa Herald reported June 25. The team with the best record at the end of the season will be declared the league champ for 2020.
EAU CLAIRE EXPRESS BASEBALL
The Eau Claire Express officially pulled the plug on their 2020 season on June 24, saying Eau Claire City-County Health Department guidelines would make it impossible for them to play games at Carson Park this season. (Other members of the 22-team Northwoods League in other cities have begun limited play or plan to do so on July 1.) Read more here.
EAU CLAIRE MARATHON
The Eau Claire Marathon was originally scheduled for May, then moved to September. As of July 14, organizers announced the race will be a virtual-only affair: “In May, we had 500 people virtually run with us. Our team is busy coming up with ways for our runners to stay socially distanced, yet connected, so we can celebrate your running milestones with you in September.” Find out more at eauclairemarathon.com.
The City of Eau Claire said May 12 that the opening of the Fairfax Municipal Outdoor Pool, which had originally been scheduled for May 23, “will be delayed until further notice due to current executive orders. Notifications regarding pool opening dates will be available after the CDC and state leadership provide additional detail regarding aquatic requirements.”
SKI SPRITES WATER SKI TEAM
The Ski Sprites won’t be holding public performances on Lake Altoona this summer. The organization made the following announcement May 24 on Facebook: “Our 2020 ski season will look different than any other. We are sad to say we have suspended all shows at this point. We plan to spend this season to build our skills as skiers through small practices that follow all state a local guidelines regarding social distancing and group sizes.”
U.S. NATIONAL KUBB CHAMPIONSHIP
The annual U.S. National Kubb Championship, scheduled for July 10-12 at the Eau Claire Soccer Park, has been canceled. Organizers say the next championship will be held July 9-11, 2021. Visit usakubb.org for details.
OTHER FESTIVALS & EVENTS
ASHLEY FOR THE ARTS
The annual music and arts festival in Arcadia, originally scheduled for Aug. 6-8, has been canceled. Organizers announced on May 8 that “the festival will resume next year, Aug. 12-14, 2021, at Memorial Park in Arcadia to once again be a premier charity and family-friendly event.”
BIG RIG TRUCK SHOW
As of early May, the 11th Annual Big Rig Truck Show is still scheduled for Aug. 14-16 at the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds in Chippewa Falls. However, organizers encourage potential visitors to subscribe to their email newsletter for updates. You can sign up at bigrigtruckshows.com.
BREAKFAST IN THE VALLEY
On May 14, the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce announced that the 23rd annual Breakfast in the Valley, originally slated for June 12 at the Eau Claire County Expo Center, had been canceled for 2020 because of guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19.
BURGER KING CLASSIC CAR SHOWS
The car shows, which are typically held on Thursday evenings between May and September at Burger King restaurants around Eau Claire, have been postponed indefinitely, citing health department limits on public gatherings. Visit their Facebook page for updates.
CHIPPEWA FALLS OKTOBERFEST
The Chippewa Falls Oktoberfest, held each fall at the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds, has been canceled. Originally slated for Sept. 18-19, 2020, the 18th Annual Oktoberfest will instead be held Sept. 17-18, 2021.
CHIPPEWA VALLEY AIR SHOW
The 2020 Chippewa Valley Air Show, scheduled for June 13-14 at the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport, has been canceled. Ticket holders can request refunds or choose to donate the cost of their tickets to the Boy Scouts of America, the show’s main sponsor. Learn more online at chippewavalleyairshow.com.
CHIPPEWA VALLEY BOOK FESTIVAL
The 21st annual Chippewa Valley Book Festival, which was planned for Oct. 19-25, was canceled as of May 14. “We greatly appreciate our community’s support over our 20-year existence and are confident that our 2021 festival will be a grand celebration of coming together as a community around the written word – more than ever before,” organizers said.“Stay tuned for more information and be sure to follow the Chippewa Valley Book Festival on Facebook for interesting content until we can gather together.”
CINDER CITY DAYS
The 47th Annual Cinder City Days in Altoona, slated for June 4-7, 2020, has been canceled for the year. See details at cindercitydays.com.
FARM TECHNOLOGY DAYS
Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, the biggest ag show in the state, was slated to be held this July at Huntsinger Farms just south of Eau Claire. However, it has been rescheduled to July 20-22, 2021.
FESTIVAL IN THE PINES
The annual late-summer festival in Carson Park is still scheduled for Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 29-30. Watch festivalinthepines.com for updates.
LEINENKUGEL’S FAMILY REUNION
Originally planned for early June, the 17th annual summer gathering of Leinie’s lovers has been rescheduled to Saturday, Aug. 1, at the Leinie Lodge, 124 E. Elm St., Chippewa Falls. Go to leinie.com/leinie-lodge for details.
MUSIC AT THE RIVERFRONT
The Sunday evening Music at the Riverfront series in Chippewa Falls has been postponed. On June 4, organizer announced that the series wouldn’t start until mid-July at the earliest. Check out their Facebook page for updates.
REN IN THE GLEN
Ren in the Glen, the annual “medieval fantasy faire” held outside Glenwood City in St. Croix County, has been canceled for 2020. It has been rescheduled for July 31-Aug. 1, 2021. You can read more in this rather creative Facebook post:
UW-Eau Claire has officially canceled its Sunset Sounds Series, which typically features outdoor performances by local musicians on Monday evenings during June, July, and August.
TASTE OF THE VALLEY
The annual culinary event at Phoenix Park, originally scheduled for June 7, has been canceled for 2020. The Chippewa Valley After Hours Rotary Club, which organizes the event, says it will return in 2021.