MERRILL - This is the first year Merrill organized the bridal expo at the Smith Center.
One of the main events was the fashion show.
"It’s nice to see all the different fashions right now just to get some ideas because I’m not really sure what I’m going to go with yet." said bride-to-be, Mary Kelnholfer.
Brides who haven’t had time to taste test cakes at a local bakery got that chance with a couple of the venders.
"We’ve had a lot of people come by and talk about ideas for their wedding, flavor ideas, color ideas and different ways that we can really customize all the different deserts to fit their receptions." Sweet Life Bakery Boutique Owner, Katie Anderson said.
The venders ranged from honeymoon planning to jewelry and hair care products.
"We have catering companies. We have floral, Rosie’s floral," Merrill Park and Recreation Department Administrative Assistant, Dawn Smith said.
"So we have a wide variety of venders here."
If you’re stumped about what to add for entertainment at your wedding, there’s something you can do which is old school, but has a new twist.
"It’s like the old drug store photo booth. You used to put a quarter in and it was film. Now it’s all digital," said Owner of Brian West Show, Brian West.
"It’s a lot of fun scrapbook memories. And it’s a great take away for couples and their guest."
Another attraction that drew in the crowd was the cake dive.
"Ten brides will be chosen. They have to keep one hand behind their back and they will take their other hand and actually have to dig into the cake," Smith said.
"We have ten rings buried inside the cake with the prizes in. "
There was even a man cave for the brave men who joined their fiancés.
"It was fun. I won a lot of prizes and relaxed," said fiancé, Jason Goldwski.
"Watched her enjoy herself. That was the main reason I came."
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Ruby's pantry opened their doors Tuesday in Lac du Flambeau. This is the first time the Ruby's pantry has set up shop there. They decided to come to Lac du Flambeau because of the good turnout in Rhinelander. The food pantry asks that people give a $20 donation.
“It's not your typical food pantry,” says Gloria Cobb, Ruby's Pantry Lac du Flambeau Lead Coordinator. “This is an opportunity to give people dignity, to serve with dignity, and it's a donation base.”
“I mean look at the hustle and bustle going on we've got the community coming together not only Lac du Flambeau but the surrounding community coming together to meet a very basic need and that's to help with hunger,” says Cobb.
The pantry offered items like strawberries, cake mix, and toilet paper. More than 400 people were expected to show up.
“A participant will go through the line with a laundry basket and or box and they will be offered items,” says Cobb. “They can refuse them however we will encourage them to take the item because somebody else that they may know may have a need.”
“They get a certain amount of each item and they go through the line like an assembly line,” says Cobb.
The pantry had more than 21,000 pounds of food to give away.
RHINELANDER - The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce group held a seminar at Nicolet College in Rhinelander Tuesday, to plan how to make Wisconsin more attractive to skilled workers and manufacturing businesses.
WMC's president believes the shortage in younger people in the industry has to do with two big misconceptions about manufacturing.
"The younger kids, as do their parents, have a perception on what manufacturing looks like and it's about 40 years out of date. If you're in an advanced manufacturing facility now, it's clean, it's high-tech, the engineers and technicians are working together," said Jim Morgan."We have a perception problem. I think we still have a definition of success that's says unless you have a four-year degree, you're not successful."
Morgan says groups like WMC work to change that perception. He believes workers with a two-year degree are just as successful in the industry.
So far, WMC held seminars at nine other technical colleges. For Rhinelander, more manufacturers could mean more economic independence.
"The Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce is looking to see how it can help and partner with local manufacturers to make the Rhinelander area a more favorable place for them to locate their businesses, as well as to attract and retain skilled workers to make those businesses successful," said Dana DeMet, Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce director.
Over the next six months, WMC will continue to look for ways to attract more workers and businesses to the state.
In December, it hopes to have 1000 representatives for a meeting in Milwaukee focusing on how manufacturing will benefit the state.
WMC also works with the University of Wisconsin system and the Wisconsin Technical Colleges.
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