Editor’s note: Gimme 5 is a five-question interview on a topic of local interest.
Who: Liz Brodke, downtown communication and promotions coordinator for the Economic Development Division of the city of Eau Claire.
Talks about: The 30th annual International Fall Festival.
Details: Downtown Eau Claire’s largest and oldest festival will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, with a parade at 3 p.m.
Information: Click on the events tab at downtowneauclaire.org or contact organizer Liz Brodek at 715-839-4914 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For folks who somehow have missed the first 29 International Fall Festivals, how would you describe what goes on?
It’s a day to come downtown and celebrate our wonderfully diverse Eau Claire community. There are over 110 vendors this year (including food trucks), performances, a petting zoo, inflatables, face painting, cricket and, of course, the Royal Credit Union Parade of Nations at 3 p.m. featuring the Blugold Marching Band.
Do you have anything special or new on tap for the 30th annual festival?
We’re excited to be refocusing on the multicultural aspects of our Eau Claire community this year.
The Pablo Center is helping with this, and we have some great booths and performances that highlight this as well. We’re also incorporating short narratives from locals during Kneauing Our Stories sets, and we’re thrilled to be able to offer free games of cricket all day.
What would youconsider the most popular aspects of thefestival?
It’s really a great time for everyone. The vibrancy created by the variety of activities makes it very popular.
And people absolutely love the parade — especially the Blugold Marching Band. We started getting questions about it in June.
What kind of attendance do you expect and what ages of people typically attend?
We expect attendance anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 throughout the day, depending on weather. All ages attend, and it’s particularly great for families with small kids because of the petting zoo, inflatables and face painting.
Downtown has certainly changed a lot in the past 30 years. What does that mean to the festival?
As downtown evolves, so does the festival. We incorporate the traditions people love but try to incorporate something new and timely for each event. We’re excited to have it grow and evolve even more in the coming years.