By Joe Bachman
Wisconsin Rapids celebrated the past, present, and more importantly the future on Tuesday night.
The city hosted the “Market Block Party”, which didn’t just provide food, beverage and live music, but a look forward at what the triangle area could become. J2 Catering, Rocky Rococo’s, and Jamaican Kitchens were on hand serving local cuisine, as well as live music from “Goats in Trees”.
Residents were welcomed to cast their vote for what they would like to see developed in the area between the courthouse and the old Good Time Charlie’s, an overwhelming amount of which voted for new restaurants downtown. Also on hand were potential plans on what the area could look like in a couple of years when the triangle redevelopment project is finished.
The event was co-sponsored by the Heart of Wisconsin, who have a vested interest in the area’s redevelopment.
“Our goal is to encourage as much activity and as much interaction between business people and our community,” said Heart of Wisconsin board member Joan Bikowski. “It’s such a prime location — and a huge step forward for an underutilized property.”
Spread throughout were brochures on the Google initiative that gets local businesses more online exposure, as residents are encouraged to “Put Wisconsin Rapids on the Map”. Those in attendance were also treated with a slideshow of what the area used to look like decades ago.
Overall, dozens upon dozens showed up and showed interest in what is expected to be a bright spot in the future of Wisconsin Rapids.
“Progress continues on the redevelopment which will bring new jobs, businesses and revitalization to the downtown,” said Mayor Zach Vruwink. “We’re pleased residents attended to learn and share their ideas for the new development.”