WAUSAU - A gay pride parade planned for this weekend in Wausau raised some eyebrows and tense comments, but perhaps it was all for nothing?
No one seemed to know who the Gay Pride Parade planner was. He wasn't from Wausau, and he didn't reach out to any locals. That concerned the Wausau gay and lesbian community.
"We don't really know what he's planning. We don't know what kind of message the parade was going to send,” said Shannon Thomas with Heart of Wisconsin Pride, “In bigger cities pride parades can be quite colorful, and that is fun, but I don't know if it exactly works for Wausau at this time."
So Thomas decided to host a march, at the exact same time. She wants to focus on equal rights.
"I wanted to be sure that the message of equality and equal rights for all was represented and so, at least for the March for Equality half of it, if they [the parade and the march] do come together I know for sure that there are over 300 people right now that will be peaceful protesters."
Then came another twist came to this story... We found out today, the original gay pride parade ISN'T happening.
The mysterious event planner Daxx Bouvier sent a letter to the city clerk two days ago saying he was cancelling the parade.
Thomas's March for Equality will still go on.
The original parade planner Bouvier never paid the fees he needed for the parade, or provided proof of insurance to the city. He's been unavailable for comment.
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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