Chippewa Falls welcomes food and music festival

Bye the Willow hosts food trucks and acoustic performers in hopes of generating an annual tradition

More stories from Nicole Bellford



A promotional poster for the First Annual Food Truck and Acoustic Music Festival includes a collage of various performers set to play the event, including country-western singer Jeff White.

For some, the emergence of October is directly associated with traditions of sweet apple crisp, kooky carved pumpkins and the autumn leaves generating an array of warm hues across the earth’s floor.

However, Northern Lights Entertainment has partnered with Bye the Willow Wine and Beer Lounge to generate some early October traditions of their own.

Doors to the first annual Food Truck and Acoustic Music Festival in Chippewa Falls are set to open Saturday, Oct. 1 from 1:30-9 p.m. for a day’s worth of endless eats and entertainment.

Bye the Willow will utilize their lounge area as well as surrounding parking lot space to host the event. The day will be filled with a variety of food trucks, acoustic performances every hour and several other activities including a henna booth, stilt walkers, a photo booth, caricatures and a special performance by fire entertainers, the Torch Sisters.

Judy VanGuilder, owner of Northern Lights Entertainment and event planner at Bye the Willow, said her motivation is to bring the festival to life.

“I have been working with Bye the Willow for a few months now,” VanGuilder said. “I wanted to do something that no one has done before.”

VanGuilder said in terms of food, there is plenty of variety to keep any palette satisfied. Food truck themes include Italian, classic barbeque, Fire Truck pizza, beef sandwiches and Chicago-style hot dogs.

In addition to delectable curbside eats, festival attendees will have the opportunity to make their voices heard by casting their vote in the food truck “Best Fest Dish” contest.

To wash all those tasty treats down, VanGuilder said there will be numerous beverages available courtesy of Bye the Willow, including a plethora of fine wines, craft beers and specialty drinks as well.

On the entertainment side of the festival, acoustic performers will headline with a mix of contemporary, americana and folk artists present. All performances will take place outdoors, with country-western singer Jeff White concluding the event.

Local merchandise vendors will also be scattered around the venue, including repurposed goods, glass blowers and handmade leather products.

VanGuilder said she has high hopes for the event to last the test of time.

“With everything we have going on, I think it’s going to be a really fun day,” VanGuilder said. “Right now it’s the first annual, but I hope this a tradition that we can carry on.”

VanGuilder said she has only one suggestion: bring a lawn chair to sit back and enjoy the delicious food and music, as everyone will need to provide their own seating.

Bye The Willow is located at 501 North High St. in Chippewa Falls. Tickets are $10, available upon entry to the event. However, purchasing tickets online via places the ticket holder’s name in a contest to win free tickets to another Bye the Willow event. The event is restricted to those 21 years of age and older.