Organizers say this year's Exhibitour draws record crowd - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Organizers say this year's Exhibitour draws record crowd


One of Wausau's most popular events drew a record crowd on Friday. Organizers say than 2,000 packed downtown Wausau for Exhibitour. Participants wander streets, meeting artists and sampling wine. Organizers tell Newsline 9, this yearly tradition has a unique history.

Jane Neal and her husband, Tom, brought the Exhibitour idea from Fort Worth, Texas.

"We lived in what was called the cultural district and there were lots of little small galleries all around the neighborhood, as well as some smaller art museums, and they would have this gallery night every year," said Jane Neal. "We moved here in 1999 and I've seen the town grow and I thought it was ready for something new and different besides beer fence parties and polka fests."

So the couple decided to recruit downtown businesses in Wausau. Hoping to convert the stores into art galleries for a night.

"The first year we thought let's just see what happens," said Jane Neal. "We started really small with only 6 venues as galleries."

But now, years later, organizers say more than 20 artists showcase their work at exhibitour- drawing thousands of people.

 "I think it injects a lot of energy into this area," said Tom Neal, Jane's Husband. "It gives a lot of stores and restaurants and pubs a chance to meet some new cliental and make some relationships. That's what it's all about. It showcases our incredible downtown."  

And the event is gaining attention. The Exhibitour was recently named the best downtown event in the state.

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