Thirty years ago we began efforts to create visibility for Viroqua through innovative programming, partnerships and facilitation. It is exciting to report that not only is the Viroqua Chamber Main Street maintaining membership we are growing! Members are discovering that when we work together economic development, promotions, community events and networking events are more impactful and inspiring. Notable initiatives include: Viroqua’s Pop-Up Shops, Co.STARTERS, The 54665 Podcast, educational sessions, Twinklefest, Small Business Saturday, the Wine and Beer Walks, The Night Market and the Saturday Farmers Market. The visitor center is a hub for information for people relocating to the area, opening a business or vacationing and serves as a meeting place for entrepreneurs. We are so excited about celebrating our 30th year as an organization and reflect on the amazing people who have helped to make this organization what it is today. A celebration of those people and those efforts is in the works for later this year.

We appreciate our generous membership for their enthusiastic support of our organization at the Annual BASH on May 9. It was a beautiful night of community that would not have been possible without support from John Pedretti, the Driftless Café, the energetic and forward thinking board of directors, the amazing and talented Chamber staff and our fantastic membership. In the words of Thor Thorson, from a speech he gave more than 20 years ago, “This community is not my responsibility or your responsibility, it is the responsibility of all to make Viroqua the best place to live, work and play.” We certainly made Thor proud on May 9.

Farmers Market,

May 18

On Saturday, May 18, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. sample some of the delights from local farmers, artisans and other producers at the Viroqua Farmers Market. If you are interested in being a vendor, please contact the Viroqua Chamber Main Street office at 608-637-2575.

Instagram for Dummies, May 22

Instagram for Dummies will be presented at the visitors center May 22 at 6 p.m. at the visitors center We are excited to host Instagram for Dummies. This class will get you through all of the basics and have you understanding and loving this fantastic social media tool for small businesses. Viroqua Chamber Main Street members will be able to attend this class free of charge, non-members pay $10. Bring your phone, laptop or tablet to the session with the Instagram app downloaded and ready for use.

Coffee tasting, May 25

Kickapoo Coffee’s Coffee tasting and roastery tour will be held May 25 at 10 a.m. The monthly cupping takes place their roastery inside the Food Enterprise Center, located at 1201 N. Main St. (parking in back). This tour of their facilities and coffee tasting is free and open to the public. Call 608-637-2022 or email with any questions you might have.

Marketing 101, May 29 Marketing 101 will be held at the visitors center May 29 at 6 p.m.

Learn all about basic marketing principles in this workshop. The session will begin with a quiz about current marketing practices and from there we will talk all about how to maximize marketing dollars for your business using free resources. We are thrilled to be working with Bad Axe Enterprises on this workshop. This class is free for Viroqua Chamber Main Street members and just $10 for the general public.

Playhouse raffle, May 30

Youth Initiative High School is excited to announce their ongoing playhouse raffle. This beautiful student made playhouse boasts 6-foot by 8-foot dimensions with hardwood floors and is an easily adaptable, multipurpose structure — chicken coop? Garden shed? Mother- or father-in-law cottage? You decide!

Raffle tickets are $10. Contact YIHS at 608-637-6445 or visit Quality of Life Chiropractic for your chance to win and participate in this student fundraiser.

The drawing will be held May 30 at 7 p.m., as a penultimate event in YIHS’s fourth quarter Potluck of Ideas, a student showcase of work from quarter and trimester length classes. The finale will be a demonstration of epic proportions from the Circus and Public Arts classes.

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