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Posted: August 6, 2015 A Grand Evening on the Bridge returns after sell-out last year

Downtown Eau Claire, Inc.'s A Grand Evening on the Bridge was a sell-out last year in its inaugural year and the non-profit organization is hosting it again, and adding seats.  "It's hard to know how something new will go over, but thephone started ringing the minute tickets went on sale last year!  Tickets were sold out in a matter of days, and we added twenty seats to the original one hundred," organizer Salina Heller of DECI says.

Heller says with supportive sponsors like Northwestern Bank and Visit Eau Claire, the event was a successful fundraiser for Downtown Eau Claire, Inc.

A Grand Evening on the Bridge is held on the Grand Avenue footbridge, with tables lined end-to-end, with people enjoying the beauty of the landscape and the setting of the Chippewa River.  "It's a memorable evening; something different than people have ever experienced," Heller says.

What's also new this year is the addition of wine.  In its first run, the dinner included colorful 'mocktails' that had names like The Grand Ave. and The Clearwater.  This year, with help from Rotary of Eau Claire and Infinity Beverage, a glass of wine will be included with dinner.  "It was just a natural fit for this beautiful dinner," Heller says.

Downtown businesses, especially those on West Grand Avenue, are helping to create this grand evening.  There will also be a salad added, from The Court 'n House, along with appetizers.  The main course will be prepared by Houligan's Steak and Seafood Pub, and dessert will be from Dessert First.

Money raised will go towards other activities that DECI hosts, generally strengthening the heart of downtown.  The Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild, located on West Grand Avenue, will also be raising money during the dinner.  The group will host prize baskets and will benefit from the sale of those, as well as help in serving and clearing dishes.  That organization will receive gratuities the guests may leave.  Rotary of Eau Claire will also benefit from additional wine purchased.

CVTG volunteer Carrie Bodenburg, who volunteered last year, says it's a wonderful way to spend a summer evening.  "Having walked across the bridge many times, it was fun to see it transformed, and to see it from a whole new perspective; the historical photos, the streamers, the bright-colored flowers, the music-every detail made it magical," Bodenburg says.

"A Grand Evening on the Bridge will help the Eau Claire and Chippewa Valley community come together and enjoy the rich culture and landscape the Chippewa Valley has to offer. Guests will all be sharing in a unique experience for one night. They will pass food, listen to music, mingle, and chat about the atmosphere; while they enjoy the company of neighbors, family, friends, and other community member," Heller says.

To order your tickets call (715)839-4914.

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