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La Crosse’s Pump House, Prairie du Chien 350th anniversary celebration, among $22 million in COVID-19 relief announced by Gov. Evers

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La Crosse’s Pump House and a business group from Prairie du Chien are included in the latest round of Wisconsin tourism grants.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has $22 million in grants to 27 arts organizations and governments around the state to help recover from losses during the pandemic.

The Pump House Regional Arts Center in downtown La Crosse is getting $288,000 to replace seats in its recently remodeled second floor theater and to expand its restrooms. The former water works facility has been an arts center since the 1970s.

Also, a big celebration being planned next year in Crawford County, to mark the anniversary of when white explorers in Wisconsin arrived at the Mississippi River near Prairie du Chien, received COVID relief grants.

The Marquette and Joliet expedition happened in 1673, and next year will be the 350th anniversary.

Driftless Development, Incorporated has received a $119,000 grant to put on a celebration.

Planned events include parades, canoe races, square dancing, and a pie judging, along with many others. Thousands of people attended the tri-centennial of the expedition in June of 1973.

Tourism grants will also provide millions for an entertainment plaza in downtown Wisconsin Dells and $3 million to Milwaukee County to expand the penguin exhibit at the Milwaukee zoo.    

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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