After successfully raising $6,800 from the Sauk Wine Walk in September, event organizer Tracy Thompson is ready to do it again.
Thompson said she just received approval from the village of Prairie du Sac to start planning a Wine Walk for the spring in downtown Prairie du Sac. Thompson said she has reached out to a few downtown business owners to see who is interested in helping to plan the event, and to get a feel for what the community wants.
“When we started planning for the Sauk Wine Walk, we immediately had interest from some people in Prairie du Sac,” Thompson said. She said the event was deliberately held in just one community, due to the fear people would end up driving the short distance between the two communities. Bar Buddies drivers were also out that evening to offer rides home to those who needed it.
Thompson said the committee for the Sauk Wine Walk chose the Friends of the Great Sauk State Trail to receive any proceeds. Once the funds were totaled, Thompson said she was amazed at how much they were able to raise.
“I actually got a call from Jeff Wright, president of the Friends group, who told us we raised enough to earn a mile-marker along the trail,” Thompson said. Instead of just putting the event’s name and date on the marker, Thompson decided to engage the participating businesses again to determine what inspirational words or message would be fitting. One side of mile marker six will say, Live Intentionally,” while the other will say “Look for the good in each day.”
Village of Prairie du Sac administrator Alan Wildman said a revised statute allowing for wine and beer walks has opened the door for more community events like what Thompson is proposing.
The state defines wine walks or beer walks as a single day event where customers are served a glass of wine or beer over multiple locations during their shopping visits. The law authorizes a municipality to issue a temporary Class B beer or wine license to qualified organizations such as a Chamber of Commerce or other civic organization to promote economic growth and opportunity within a local, geographical area.
Thompson said it is a way for people to come together and linger in the downtown area while browsing stores they might never have been in. Typically small businesses receive an economic boost from events like the wine walk, because they get more foot traffic the day of the event and also earn new customers for the future.
Wildman said after hearing how positive Sauk City’s event was, he is optimistic about Prairie du Sac’s upcoming walk and is looking forward to seeing what the businesses come up with.
Thompson said the Friends of Sauk Prairie Parks and Recreation has been selected to receive any funds raised from Prairie du Sac’s event.
Community Recreation Director John Lehan said the group’s goal has been to raise funds for a large scale community park, and that more details will come in 2019.
“We were very excited to be a part of the event,” Lehan said. “The last event was an amazing success and we are thrilled to be part of the next one coming.”
Thompson said the spring event committee is in the brainstorming phase.
“We are just starting the conversation, then after the holidays we will buckle down with the planning,” Thompson said. “It’s their wine walk walk, not mine. We’ll see what the businesses come up with.”