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Posted: September 15, 2015 Community invited downtown for the 38th International Fall Festival

For 38 years, the Eau Claire community has enjoyed and celebrated the International Fall Festival.  Always the third Saturday of September, the festival will be held on September 19 and is hosted by Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. 
“It’s really a tradition for many people.   People enjoy being downtown, stopping in the stores, picking up gifts from the vendors, watching the entertainment, getting good food to eat, and of course not missing the parade!” said festival organizer Salina Heller of DECI. 
The festival will have nearly 100 vendors lining S. Barstow Street.  There will be cultural street performances, like Irish dancing, throughout the day by local groups.  There will also be pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, and inflatables at the Xcel Energy Kid Zone. 
Fest goers will be able to find food on every corner- from Native American fry bread, to Greek salad, baklava, gyros, burritos, tacos, and Cuban sandwiches.  There will also be  American favorites like cheese curds, corn dogs, pulled pork, and ice cream.  Heller says new this year is a cotton candy eating contest.  “It’s a timed contest, not all you can eat!  We just wanted to come up with something fun and different!”  That will be at noon.
“We’re also extremely excited that the Blugold Marching Band will be joining us again.  This year UWEC has the biggest marching band in the state at 330 members.  How lucky we are to see their talents in both our parade and a show after the parade!” Heller says.  The RCU Parade of Nations will start at 3 p.m., leading with colorful flags from around the globe.  “It’s our biggest parade yet!” says Heller.

There are also a couple of activities happening in conjunction with the festival. Sculpture Tour Eau Claire is hosting a scavenger hunt that will kick-off  during the festival. Downtown businesses are also hosting Wisctoberfest which will feature a poker run, pub crawl, and games. People can get punch cards, stop at businesses, and have a chance to win $500.

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