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View of the Phoenix Park bridge in downtown Eau Claire, WI, lit up at night

Downtown Friday Event

Friday, April 14, 2023 | 5-10 p.m.

Crossing the Bridge: The Music, Art and Culture of Eau Claire

UWEC invites NCUR 2023 participants to attend our downtown Friday event. Venture across the river and explore the thriving arts scene of Downtown Eau Claire. An evening complete with live local and regional music, a myriad of visual art, comedic performances, spoken word poetry, and, of course, plenty of cheese curds. With acts ranging from Hip-Hop to Jazz to Folk to Bluegrass, there’s something for everyone! The event will occur throughout downtown Eau Claire in cherished local institutions like The Plus and Acoustic Café and in several of the newest hotspots such as The Dive and The Metro. In addition to the entertainment venues, the streets will be filled with local musicians and several spots to grab that perfect selfie to commemorate the evening. So take a stroll downtown, investigate local shops, and discover the atmosphere that has made Eau Claire a city of clear water and cool vibes. Use the NCUR EVENT MAP for event addresses, performances schedules, and parking options. 

Getting to the event

View of a footbridge over the Chippewa River in Eau Claire, WI

Eau Claire Bridge Walk

After a long day of sitting, presenting and listening to presentations, we encourage you to stretch your legs and join us for a scenic walk to the heart of downtown Eau Claire. This sustainable transportation option offers a twenty-minute low-intensity walk from campus to Crossing the Bridge via parks and trails along the Chippewa River. The bridge walk will take participants across the UWEC footbridge and through Owen Park to a section of the Chippewa River State Trail. The trail connects to pedestrian bridges that are lit as part of the Eau Claire River Walk, including the Grand Avenue and Phoenix Park bridges adjacent to Pablo Center at the Confluence. Once we reach Pablo Center, you can enjoy the streamed version of the NCUR keynote speaker before venturing out to Crossing the Bridge. Join us for the Eau Claire Bridge Walk...your heart will thank you.

Bridge Walk Times

  • Before the Keynote: Departs Zorn Arena at 3:45 p.m. | Arrives Pablo by 4:05 p.m. (in time to watch the streamed Keynote in RCU Theatre)
  • After the Keynote: Departs Zorn Arena at 6 p.m. | Arrives Pablo by 6:20 p.m. (in time to enjoy the Crossing the Bridge Event) 

Drive yourself

You are welcome to transport yourself downtown. However, there is limited parking during this downtown event as we will be taking over the streets and venues for this celebration of culture.

Take the Shuttle

Buses will be transporting NCUR participants from campus to downtown and downtown to the conference hotels.

  • Buses will pick up NCUR participants on campus and drop participants off at the Downtown Haymarket Plaza (outside The Pablo Center) beginning at 4 p.m.
  • Live acts will begin around 5 p.m. and will continue until 10 p.m.
  • Bus pick-ups for conference hotels will occur between 7-10:30 p.m.

*NCUR participants staying at the Lismore Hotel and The Oxbow Hotel are within a 3-minute walk to Friday's Crossing the Bridge downtown event. 

Venues and Performances

RCU Theatre - Pablo Center at the Conflunence - 128 Graham Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54701

The RCU Theatre is a broadway-style theatre that can hold more than 1,200. With state-of-the-art sound and lighting, a hydraulic orchestra pit and breathtaking acoustics with attendees sitting no more than 80 feet from the stage.


6:15-7:15 pm | S. Carey | Eau Claire Born (Bon Iver Drummer) Alternative/Indie Group

7:45-8:30 pm | TeawhYB | UW-Eau Claire Alum Hip Hop Artist 

8:45-10:15 pm | Them Coulee Boys | Eau Claire Resident Folk Rock Band

The Plus - 208 S. Barstow St., Eau Claire, WI 54701

Eau Claire’s award winning eating, drinking and entertainment spot. From artisan pizzas and burgers to great live music and comedy held on our main stage or our outdoor patio, there is truly something for everyone at The Plus



6:30 pm - 7:15 pm | Shane Leonard |  A producer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. Equally at home in many genres, those who've worked with Shane know him as a studio/live swiss army knife, helping artists' sounds evolve past previous benchmarks.

7:30 pm - 8:15 pm | Dick Wolf Improvision | Chicago-based improvisation troupe. Performers will host an hour long improvised episode of Law and Order

8:15 pm - 9:00 pm | Miles Blvd | Locally sourced Hip-hop project. Independent Wisconsin musician

9:00 pm - 10:00 pm | Ka Lia Universe | St. Paul singer, rapper & songwriter.

Acoustic Café  - 505 S. Barstow St # A, Eau Claire, WI 54701

Cozy coffee shop celebrating interaction through spoken word, art, and conversations. 



6:00 pm - 7:00 pm | Reading on the River | Moderated by Professor Paul Reid, Chippewa Valley Technical College

Join students from CVTC and UWEC for an open read—bring a poem or short piece to share or come and listen to the work of others.

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm | Reading on the River  | Moderated by Professor Paul Reid, Chippewa Valley Technical College

Join students from CVTC and UWEC for an open read—bring a poem or short piece to share or come and listen to the work of others.

8:00 pm - 9:00 pm | Ask-A-Scientist | Dr. Andrew Calvin, Mayo Clinic

Eat Well, Sleep Well, Live Well.  Although good advice, this truism is based on more than just parallel syntax.  Dr. Andrew Calvin shares the results of 15 years of Mayo Clinic research on how sleep, eating, and physical activity collide to impact body weight and health consequences. Come listen, learn, question, and eat - you won’t fall asleep!   

The Lakely - 516 Galloway St., Eau Claire, WI 54703 

The Lakely is a place to gather, hang, and absorb the culture. A place to feel at home whether you’re a local, a traveler, or something in between. The Lakely boasts a locally-sourced, seasonal menu. They serve casual Midwest modern comfort foods, including their famous Koldtbord. Call (715) 839-0601 for reservations.



7:00 pm - 10:00 pm | Live Jazz  

JAMF Theatre - Pablo Center at the Conflunence - 128 Graham Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54701

Pablo Center at the Confluence is performing, visual, and literary arts center located in downtown Eau Claire.



5:15 pm - 6:15 pm | Balterdash | Chippewa Valley Band
Balterdash is Sue Orfield (sax/vocals), Dustin DeGolier (guitars/vocals), John Utphall (fiddle/violin/keys/vocals) and Randy Sinz (basses/vocals). Drawing inspiration from bluegrass, Celtic music, and Americana, their unique sound is a joyous exploration of both new and traditional songs.

6:15 pm - 7:15 pm | Jerrika Mighelle | Eau Claire Folk / Pop
Jerrika is a singer/songwriter based in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Her second full-length album, "Brightest Star," expands on feelings of grief and remembrance.

7:30 pm - 8:15 pm | Irie Sol | Authentic Jamaican chat/DJing and soaring, soulful melodies backed by blazing bebop horns, wailing guitar, and tight drum and bass.

8:30 pm - 8:45 pm | Meej Mom Seev | Honoring and celebrating Hmong cultural traditions through dance and performance. 

9:00  pm - 10:00 pm | Uncommon Denominator | Professional party band, made up of a full rhythm section (keyboards, guitar, bass, drums), a 3-piece horn section (saxophone, trumpet, trombone), and two vocalists.

Haymarket Plaza / Pablo Center Lobby - 128 Graham Ave., Eau Claire, WI 54701

The Pablo Center at the Confluence sits on the banks of the Chippewa River in the heart of downtown Eau Claire. Haymarket Plaza is the public square located outside of the Pablo Center boasting interactive water fountains, fire features, seating and river access.



5:00 pm - 7:00 pm | Iron Boy | Prior Lake Drum Circle

The members of Iron Boy have been singing and drumming together since 2003, and they’ve gone to the Gathering of Nations for a number of years, but this year they’re defending a championship title. Iron Boy were the winners of the Gathering of Nations Northern Drum Contest in 2015

Additional Experiences at Crossing the Bridge

Students walking around downtown Eau Claire, WI

Food Trucks - Drinks, Dinner, Dessert

Eau Claire is a thriving hub for a variety of food trucks that allow the city to sample the wares of talented mobile chefs. Stop by Phoenix Park (behind Royal Credit Union) or just follow your nose and you can find a mix and match of drinks, dinner, and desserts at the food trucks parked there for the Crossing the Bridge Event.

Movie Night at Micon Downtown Eau Claire - Now Showing "Autumn Rush"

When: Friday, 7-9 p.m.
Where: Micon Downtown Eau Claire - 315 S. Barstow St.
Capacity: Limited to 100 people at a time on a first-come, first-served basis.

Experience the charm of Micon Cinemas Downtown classic movie theater vibe with modern amenities. Enjoy a full-scale food and beverage menu while watching a movie.

SPECIAL - Discounted entrance fee of $5 with NCUR badge. Sit down, relax, and enjoy!

Street Performers

Several spots will be marked along the route for UWEC student buskers/street performers

Shopping - South Barstow District

The South Barstow District is the heart of downtown Eau Claire with all the eclectic shops, eateries, and public art you'll stop to see along the way.