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Tomah Chamber cancels Downtown Thursday Nights

Tomah Chamber cancels Downtown Thursday Nights

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Casey Muessigmann

Casey Muessigmann performed last August during Downtown Thursday Nights and was scheduled for a return engagement July 23. The 2020 concert series was cancelled Wednesday due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A flexible schedule wasn’t enough to save Tomah’s Downtown Thursday Nights. The Tomah Chamber and Visitors Center announced Wednesday that the second annual concert series in downtown Tomah has been cancelled.

“Thank you to everyone who reached out with support and understanding,” Chamber president/CEO Tina Thompson said. “This year has certainly been riddled with uncertainties and curve balls; however, if I know anything about this community, it is that we are resilient, hopeful and tenacious.”

The concerts were scheduled for consecutive Thursday nights from July 2-Aug. 13, except for the week of the Monroe County Fair. The Chamber attempted to salvage the concerts with a flexible schedule that stretched into September. The Tomah City Council had gotten clearance from the state Department of Transportation to close two blocks of Superior Avenue for the later dates.

However, Thompson said the Chamber was concerned about staging the concert in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and potential “bad publicity” from holding the only public festival in the area. Cases have recently surged in the western Wisconsin, including five new cases Wednesday in Monroe County.

Thompson said bands and vendors were withdrawing from the event due to COVID-19.

The launch of Downtown Thursday Nights in 2019 exceeded expectations. The series began with an estimated attendance of 1,200 before growing to nearly 3,000 by the end of the series.

Thompson announced the dates of the 2021 concerts will be July 1, July 8, July 15, July 29, Aug. 5 and Aug. 12.

“I know that at the end of this year, we will come out stronger and more connected than we were before, and next year Downtown Thursday Nights will be a celebration of our strength and endurance,” she said.

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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