WAUSAU (WAOW)-- Central Wisconsin is getting ready to play host to tens of thousands of people this weekend.
The Balloon & Rib Fest, Chalkfest, and Sidewalk Sales in Wausau are a summer favorite.
"We call this Wausau's big weekend." said Director of Wausau Events Kari Rasmussen.
And preparation are well underway.
"This is the weekend to stay in town," said Rasmussen.
With everything from good food at the downtown airport to 150 artist creating colorful pieces on the sidewalks downtown there is something for everyone.
The city expects to see around 30,000 people flood the area.
"You can't get a hotel room this weekend," said Rasmussen.
Having all of these people in town helps local business like Shepherd and Schaller Sporting Goods.
"Anytime we can get people great deals of really good quality sporting goods they are going to come and shop, " said Shepherd and Schaller Store Manager Seth Alwin.
This store knows all about the sidewalk sales.
They have been involved since the start of the event more than 10 years ago.
They spent the day setting up a tent and moving merchandise outside.
They say they are prepared for the crowd.
"We'll have everybody on staff working pretty much open to close," said Alwin.
Even with the long hours, store leaders enjoy the weekend.
"It's something we will continue to participate in as well because it's a win, win for our store and the downtown community," said Alwin.
There will be a shuttle bus taking people to and from the different events on Friday and Saturday.
Shuttles will leave from three places:
Greenheck Field house in Weston
The Wausau Curling Club off of Grand Avenue.
Events begin on Thursday and continue through Sunday.
Newsline 9 participated in a media tour Thursday at the Lincoln Hills Youth Prison.
Hundreds of area college students are employed before they even get their diploma at Northcentral Technical College.
1908 Grand Avenue, Wausau, WI 54403
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