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Trivia returns to Stevens Point, less people travel to the city

Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 9:39 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - Some store managers call trivia weekend in Stevens Point the second busiest weekend behind Thanksgiving. Even with the 51st version of the event returning this spring, the virtual format means fewer travelers to Stevens Point

Normally, hotel rooms would be booked and area restaurants would be busy.

“It’s sort of an annual tradition to play with teams and to have this one weekend where there’s community camaraderie,” one organizer Theresa Yonash said.

The 51st event dubbed “Raid on Trivia 51” brings back the Stevens Point staple after last year’s event was canceled due to COVID-19.

Yonash grew up in Stevens Point playing in the game. She’s seen the impact a normal event has on Stevens Point.

“It’s very important for people to get together and have the shared experience and just have this unique aspect of this, dinky little Stevens Point town,” Yonash said.

Stevens Point Mayor Mike Wiza added that tourism is a big boon for the local economy.

“Literally thousands of people Coming into Stevens Point for trivia.”

But in order to bring the spring event back, some things had to change.

“We’re not having a bunch of people travel from all over and having people book out all the hotels and stuff because we want to keep people safe,” said Anna Herrmann.

Normally, the weekend includes in-person scavenger hunts and other gatherings. This year, online submissions keep this a virtual event. That means many who aren’t from Stevens Point out of the city.

At places like Belts Ice Cream, though, they’re still taking advantage of the weekend. After 10 o’clock, trivia keeps them busy.

“Most of our business will be trivia folk. And a lot of the time, it will be two or three people with a list for the rest of the team,” owner Cole Racine said.

They will stay open until one am tonight and tomorrow like they have for trivia the last five years.

Racine adds that while he knows fewer people from out of town will be descending upon Stevens Point, he expects the regulars to continue their traditions.

But those in Stevens Point say they’ve been longing for normalcy and the trivia contest provides that entertainment. They have 310 teams signed up with more than 1,000 participants, right around what a normal year brings.

“We’re just trying to provide an opportunity and something fun and something memorable,” Yonash said.

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