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Ridges & Rivers Book Festival Board of Directors - Contributed photo

Ridges & Rivers Book Festival back again in April 2024 

VIROQUA, Wis. -Ridges & Rivers, Incorporated is pleased to announce the second Ridges & Rivers Book Festival will be held in Viroqua, Wisconsin in early spring.  The event is scheduled for April 26-27, 2024.

Trina Erickson – Ridges & Rivers Book Festival Board President

“The 2023 Ridges & Rivers Book Festival attracted over 1000 people to Viroqua generating more than $100,000 in spending.  After hearing so many positive comments and encouragement to do another Book Festival it was an easy decision to make” said event Co-Founder and Director of the McIntosh Memorial Library Trina Erickson. 

The 2023 festival was under the direction of the McIntosh Memorial Library and the Driftless Writing Center. “Due to the success of our first festival we decided to form our own organization,” said Erickson.  Ridges & Rivers, Incorporated became a 501(C)3 non-profit organization in 2023 and has a seven-member board of directors.  Erickson serves as the Board President.

The 2024 festival has an expansive activity calendar with events being added weekly.   Most events are offered at no charge.  The exception is a handful of ticketed events at the Temple Theatre and writing workshops.  “We’re so pleased to partner with new businesses and organizations this year to serve as host locations for festival activities.  The festival grew enough in just one year where we knew early on adding event locations was a priority.”  Joining the list of locations in Viroqua where festival activities will take place is Bethel Home & Services, Vernon Memorial Healthcare, The Commons, and Eckhart Park.”

Lisa Henner – Ridges & Rivers Book Festival Co-Chair

Lisa Henner Co-Chair of the 2024 event says, “We’ve assembled a roster of presentations, performances, readings, and workshops that has something for everyone! The presenters are experts and artists at the top of their fields. I’m so excited to welcome such diverse talent to Viroqua.” 

In response to attendee feedback the 2024 festival will begin the afternoon of Friday, April 26 and conclude the evening of Saturday, April 27.  Please visit the festival website for the complete schedule of events at www.ridgesandriversbookfestival.org

Below are a few highlights of events being offered at the Ridges & Rivers Book Festival:

  • Friday, April 26 we welcome former Wisconsin Governor Marty Schreiber to Viroqua to speak about his book, My Two Elaines: Learning, Coping, and Surviving as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver.  Mr. Schreiber will speak at 2:30pm at Bethel Home and Services.
  • Friday, April 26 at 4:30pm an author panel featuring Kimberly Blaeser, Quan Barry, and Said Shaiye will be held at the Commons.  The panel will speak about “Connections to Place” in relation to their writing. 
  • Friday, April 26 at 7:30pm at the historic Temple Theatre the official opening of the Ridges & Rivers Book Festival will take place featuring local dignitaries.  This will be followed by a signature event at 7:45pm. The presenter will be announced soon.
  • Saturday, April 27 from 9:00-5:30 the festival will feature writing workshops, author presentations, a large vendor area inside the McIntosh Memorial Library lobby and Western Technical College.  There will be authors to meet, presentations to join, workshops to attend, and food to enjoy.  Breakfast will be served by the Waffle Wagon at the Vernon County Historical society, while Viroqua’s renowned Lion Burgers will be available for lunch at the Viroqua Eagles Club from 11:00-2:00.
  • We’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of Dungeons and Dragons by hosting D&D expert Ben Riggs at the Commons on Saturday at 1:00pm.  The Commons will serve as a host location for a full afternoon of D&D activities.
Ridges & Rivers Book Festival Board of Directors – (back left) Haylee Harris, Richard Running, David Hartberg, Trina Erickson, David Hough (front left) Lisa Henner and Julie Mills

Eckhart Park and the McIntosh Memorial Library will be the headquarters for most youth events on Friday and Saturday.  The historic Temple Theatre will serve as the host site for a slate of specialized programs including nationally recognized gardening expert Melinda Myers and eagles from the National Eagle Center out of Wabasha, Minnesota.

Those interested in learning more about and supporting the Ridges & Rivers Book Festival are encouraged to visit the event website at www.ridgesandriversbookfestival.org We encourage everyone to sign-up for the festival newsletter which is published twice per month.

The Ridges & Rivers Book Festival is sponsored by many with grant support from Travel Wisconsin.  Information about the festival is available through the event website, the event Facebook page or by calling 608-637-7151.

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