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Community event planned in Hudson during Republican National Convention

With the Republican National Convention approaching in September and practically on the doorstep of Hudson in the Twin Cities, the community plans to show the state delegation and passing travelers what this city has to offer.

In a collaborative effort among the St. Croix County Republicans, the business community, Tourism Alliance and the Chamber of Commerce, Hudson will host a unique event on Sept. 3.

"I believe this will be a way to highlight our downtown retail and our hospitality," said State Rep. Kitty Rhoades, R-Hudson, at the Aug. 6 Hudson Rotary meeting.

The event is officially on the calendars of the Wisconsin delegation and is expected to have about 250 guests who will be transported to Hudson on buses from the Twin Cities.

Special visitors include keynote speaker Tommy Thompson and County Executive Scott Walker.

It begins at noon and will go until about 3 p.m. Each attendee will be given a button with a number on the back that determines whether they're in one of two different groups. One half will go on a boat tour on the St. Croix River with Afton Cruise Lines and the other will go on a "scavenger hunt" to participating shops. The groups switch after each activity.

The patio has been rented at Pier 500 and a tent will be set up in the restaurant's parking lot for the speakers and other entertainment. Local talent is expected to perform, but nothing is booked yet.

"It will be a great learning experience for how we can participate in big-scale tourism," said Rhoades.

She said their goals are to get the community to participate in the economic impact of having a large number of visitors here and to hopefully give people a reason to stop back in Hudson while driving home from the convention.

St. Croix County Republicans co-chair Jesse Garza said he hopes the event will bring new visitors to Hudson. Garza said the Midwest has become a major stopping point for politicians and is becoming more targeted by both the Democratic and Republican parties.

"We're just really excited about the event," said Garza. "And to celebrate the delegation's week in the's going to be a real contentious and labor-intensive fall [with the election]."

The public is free to purchase buttons in advance for $20 ($25 the day of) at the St. Croix County Republican headquarters on Second Street. This entitles people access to the day's events, with the exception of the boat ride due to limited seating.

The Republican National Convention runs Sept. 1-4 in the Twin Cities. Visit for more information and updates on Hudson's special event.