Chippewa Falls prepares to host Northwoods Blues Festival in new venue

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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- The Northwoods Blues Festival is in Chippewa Falls for its third year on June 21 and 22 at the Riverfront Park.

Chippewa falls is used to holding large events but since Riverfront Park just held a grand opening on June 20, the music festival required some extra planning.

"We've collaborated a lot between different departments including the city engineers and the police department to make sure we have thought out mechanics of how the event will happen and how to get people safely to and from the event,” says Brad Hentschel, the Chippewa Falls City Planner.

The festival is expecting around 1,500 to 2,000 people per day according to Steven Rheaume, festival organizer.

“The bands themselves have such a following that there is an entourage of people who almost follow them around,” Rheaume says.

Last year the festival was held at the fairgrounds and had plenty of parking for $5 per car.

Parking is free at the festival this year however it may take a bit more effort to find a spot.

Hentschel says there are about 1,000 public parking spaces within a 10 to 12 minute walk from the festival including 20 municipal lots.

Both the city and festival organizers are confident parking will not be an issue.

There will also be four shuttles running to and from the event from Loopy's, a nearby saloon & grill and some hotels.

“We feel pretty well prepared and we are going to monitor the situation pretty closely,” Hentschel says.

As a backup parking plan, Rheaume is also prepared to shuttle festival goers in from the parking lot at the fairgrounds.

“If we've got an issue we've got a plan,” he says.

Taxis and ride share like Uber and Lyft are also available.

Hentschel says the festival is a good test run for the park and will help the city learn how to manage future events.

“We're excited to have an event like this and bring in people to our community,” Hentschel says.

The festival will have 12 different bands over the course of the festival. Tickets are still available at the gate for $40 for one day or $70 for both.
The music starts at 1:30 p.m. and the last band starts at 9:30 p.m. on both days.

For a full schedule, click here.