Cold temperatures bust Eau Claire's New Year's Eve outdoor party - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Cold temperatures bust Eau Claire's New Year's Eve outdoor party


Eau Claire (WQOW) - The bitter cold hampered part of the party for a public New Year's Eve bash on Sunday night.

Many looked forward to the Light Up Eau Claire and New Year's Eve Gala in the Chippewa Valley, but old man winter brought negative temperatures to western Wisconsin which resulted in lower attendance and cancellations for a few of the outdoor events downtown Eau Claire.

Visit Eau Claire Executive Director, Linda John, said the indoor events were a hit, but the cold caused big problems for the "Rockin' the Rooftop" concert and fireworks show.

John said cell phones were failing, heaters weren't working, the beer taps weren't flowing because they were frozen and it was simply too cold for the band to play. The negative temperatures acted as a learning lesson for Visit Eau Claire going forward into future winter events. 

"In the end we were just not able to have that event. It was disappointing, but we did learn something from that," John said. "I think what we'll look into is some sort of policy of at what temperature, what wind chill or at what level of snowfall we call off the event early enough instead of just trying to make it happen no matter what."

John said Visit Eau Claire believes 600 people attended the entire New Year's Eve bash in Eau Claire.

Some of the events, like the concerts, cost $15 which got attendees a wristband and admission to parts of the party. John said some people got their money back because they asked, but most people didn't fuss about the canceled concert and just checked out one of the indoor party venues instead. 

John added she would like to see the "Light Up Eau Claire: Lantern Parade" become a bigger event in the coming years.

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