THREE LAKES - One Northwoods town just received a large check.
The Wisconsin Department of Tourism recently gave Three Lakes more than $27,000 for its Heritage Festival.
Last year, the Three Lakes Chamber of Commerce received $30,000 for the first Heritage Festival.
Skip Brunswick, Executive Director of the Three Lakes Chamber of Commerce, says, "It's quite an honor to be considered one. I think last year we were one out of sixteen that got it and there must have been thirty-some that applied so [we're] pretty proud of it."
The money comes from the Joint Effort Marketing or "JEM" Grant program.
JEM gives out $1.1 million a year to non-profits for promoting Wisconsin tourism.
Only three other Northwoods groups have received grants from the JEM program over the last year.
Brunswick says the grant money is not just beneficial to Three Lakes.
"We like to bring attention to the entire Northwoods, just not Three Lakes. So if I do my part to bring people up to the Northwoods, they're going to be able to see some of the other areas that we have up here," he says.
This year's festival celebrates Ireland, Italy, Germany, Poland, and of course, Wisconsin.
There will be food from those countries, live entertainment, lumberjack shows and games for kids.
MERRILL - When you think of movies you probably think of Hollywood, but one man from Northcentral Wisconsin is bringing his feature film to the local screen.
Wausau’s Jarrod Crooks not only makes movies, but he also stars in them.
His latest film, "Dispatched" is based off the Elvis Presley movie, “Girl Happy,” says filmmaker Jarrod Crooks. “My character Jake is sent to go watch my bosses daughter while she’s on vacation with a friend. Then an old enemy is kind of after him while he’s on vacation, so some things happen.”
Crooks made, "Dispatched" on a $5,000 budget and it’s full of romance, action, and comedy.
“My buddy would joke with me, ‘why don’t you just pick one genre man and then just go with it'," says Crooks. "I’m like because I want to make this movie how I want to make It'." "I actually like romantic comedies, I think they’re kind of fun, and I think they’re cute. I like action films because I’m a guy, and I like comedy because Jim Carey is great.”
Crooks is only 28 and has already made 4 feature films. His passion started when he was 12 years old.
“I went over to my friend’s house and he had a video camera. I was like oh we should make a movie, and at that time I was really into, “Wishbone,” says Crooks.
“We’d always remake our own literature pieces. Then I saw my first Jackie Chan movie and I’m like, alright it’s settled we’re doing action films from now on," says Crooks. “From then on it was just a love affair with the filmmaking.”
His latest film will be shown at the Cosmo Theatre in Merrill on Saturday at 5pm.
“The fact that I’m bringing it to central Wisconsin is great because this is where I grew up," says Crooks. "All my family and friends get to see it, so I’m very excited about that and you get to see yourself on the big screen what’s better than that.”
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