Dinner Over The Duncan Event To Flourish In Its Fifth Year
an evening over Duncan Creek made into a true communal event by the city of Chippewa Falls returns
What began just a handful of years ago as a celebration of Chippewa Falls and the bridge that connects the Heyde Center for the Arts to the historic town has now grown into the annual Dinner Over The Duncan event, a gorgeous evening with local businesses coming together, fundraising for the local art center.
Though this year’s event will be its fifth, the first four years each featured their own acts of nature: in its inaugural year in 2018, a quick rain kicked off the event, followed by a beautiful outdoor evening on the Marsh Rainbow Arch Bridge. The following year, a furious storm took the dinner indoors to the Heyde Center, now the backup location in case of weather. Then, as we all know, 2020 did not allow for a traditional gathering but did spark creativity for the fundraiser event, which was held as a gourmet-style drive-through that year. Last year, a cookout-style event on the bridge was held with uncertainty still in the air.
This year on Sept. 8, the Dinner Over The Duncan hopes to flourish in full bloom, back on the historic bridge.
Tables are set up in a continuous stretch across the bridge, with diners on either side of the table connected throughout for a true feel of togetherness. “It gives the feeling of a big, extended family reunion,” Deb Johnson, Executive Director of the Heyde Center, said.
This year, Willow Events and Catering have created the meal spread, which includes a locally-sourced charcuterie board and autumnal salad, grilled pork tenderloin or sweet potato fusion entree, and bacon brussel sprouts and more as side dishes, followed by a to-be-revealed special dessert by McDonald 5 Star Catering. Local beer and wine will also be offered.
The bridge will be drenched in evening sunlight as the sun begins to set at 6pm with harp music from Judy Brost to fill the air, decor to spill across the bridge, and tables from the new owners of Collective Charm and Eevy Ivy Over.
“The setting sun casts a lovely gold-tinged color over the downtown area,” Johnson recalled from previous years’ events. “Diners drift in and small groups start to gather, glass in hand, to chat and enjoy the sounds of Duncan Creek flowing beneath their feet.”
While seven bridges once crossed Duncan Creek by 1891, the Rainbow Arch Bridge built in 1916, the Rainbow Arch was the only one left standing after the destructive 1934 flood. Now, nearly 90 years later, it still connects those across Chippewa Falls.
All are welcome to attend the evening with tickets available online for purchase. Johnson said there are often folks who are not from Chippewa Falls that attend the event, and the relaxed camaraderie and atmosphere make for a warm welcome. Proceeds from the dinner will go into the Heyde Center's Centennial Fund, which covers the costs of bringing innovative talent and cultures to the Valley.
Buy tickets to Dinner Over The Duncan, kicking off at 6pm on Sept. 8, and learn more on the Heyde Center's website.