The Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce received a $6,600 state grant to help promote the Chain O' Lakes Blues Festival Sept. 28-29.
The weekend event will be held at the historic Indian Crossing Casino and present performances by the Dave Steffen Band and Big Mouth and the Power Tool Horns on Friday night.
Beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday, the music festival continues with the Alex Wilson Band (2011 Wisconsin Blues Band of the Year), Shaker and the Egg, Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin' Altar Boys and Otis & the Alligators.
"We were looking for something to promote off-season tourism and promote overnight stays," according to Terri Schulz, chamber president.
Schulz said the Chamber decided to organize a blues festival because there is a large market for such events.
"And we will be highlighting one of our historic landmarks, the Indian Crossing Casino" she said.
The Chamber expects the blues festival to draw at least 1,000 visitors to the area in its first year and have a $27,000 economic impact on the local community,
"We're marketing Waupaca as a year-round tourism destiny," Schulz said.
Sarah Klavas, with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, presented the state grant to the Chamber on Thursday, Aug. 23.
She said the state has budgeted $1.13 million to promote new and one-time events as part of the Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant program.
"The goal is to encourage people to come and see the community," Klavas said.
"In total, we have an advertising budget of $10,800," said Jeff Anderson, the Chamber's tourism director. "This has allowed us to advertise in Milwaukee, Madison, the Fox Valley, Green Bay, Stevens Point and Wausau."
Tickets are $10 for Friday, $15 for Saturday, or $20 for a weekend pass, available by calling the Chamber at 888-417-4040.
In addition to the festival line-up, several other Waupaca area establishments will feature blues entertainment. including Simpson's Restaurant and the Wheel House Restaurant.
For more details, visit www.WaupacaMemories.com.
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