Wausau River District earns statewide recognition at Wisconsin Main Street Awards ceremony
Wausau River District was recognized for its outstanding downtown revitalization efforts at the 27th Wisconsin Main Street Awards ceremony on Friday, April 27, in Ripon.
Wausau River District took top honors in the Best Campaign/Item/Event for the Wausome River District Video at the event, which was hosted by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). The awards ceremony recognized the efforts by Wisconsin Main Street volunteers and staff for their historic preservation and downtown economic development efforts of communities in Wisconsin in 2017.
“WEDC congratulates Wausau River District for its outstanding efforts to revitalize and improve downtown,” said Mark R. Hogan, secretary, and CEO of WEDC. “A vibrant downtown is critical to a community’s overall economic development as well as the quality of life for its residents, and we commend Wausau River District for being among the best in the state when it comes to strengthening its downtown.”
“Receiving this award for the Wausome River District video is such a great honor. This video not only showcases all the reasons why Wausau is a such a great place to live, work and play, but has also captured the attention of state organizations, drawing attention to the Wausau area.”
The creation of a marketing video for the Wausau River District was intended to not only capture the essence of downtown Wausau, but to also engage residents and recruit new ones. This simple idea came to fruition when a young creative videographer moved back to Wausau after traveling the world. Brenton Wildman of Wildman Creative took his fresh perceptive on his hometown and helped highlight why Wausau is such a great place to live, work and play.
The video was an instant success, organically reaching over 32,000 people in just a few months. The response from residents has been incredible with comments ranging from, “This is so cool! I’m so excited to be joining the River District!” to “This is why we love to say WAUSOME!” People from outside the area responded with, “I didn’t know they had BIG buildings!” to “Love this! I live in Milwaukee, yet Wausau holds a special place in my heart! It’s my favorite escape!”
This video has not only been recognized by viewers, but by City of Wausau officials as an excellent marketing tool for the area. It’s even played on loop in the lobby of city hall and Wausau area access TV. Most impressively, marketers working for the state of Wisconsin reached out for footage to include in a state effort to recruit young professionals. To our knowledge it is the only Main Street video featured in any city or state marketing platforms. Creating this video has not only helped bring Wausau to the forefront of conversations locally but made us a part of state-wide recruitment as well.
Wisconsin Main Street is a community development program administered by WEDC that targets Wisconsin’s historic commercial districts. WEDC provides technical support and training to the 33 Main Street communities to help them revitalize their business districts based on guidelines developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Since the program’s inception in 1987, Wisconsin Main Street community projects have resulted in the creation of more than 2,600 new businesses and more than 14,000 net new jobs. In addition, more than $1.7 billion in public and private investment has occurred in Wisconsin Main Street communities.
Wausau River District has been part of the Wisconsin Main Street Program since 2002.
The purpose of the Wausau River District is to promote and facilitate the economic vitality and historic preservation of downtown Wausau for the benefit of the entire community.