MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Michelle Obama and actress Eva Longoria are coming to Wisconsin on Thursday to promote drinking water instead of sugary soft drinks in a city that's home to one of the country's largest manufacturers and distributors of PepsiCo Inc. products.
Obama and Longoria planned the event at a high school in Watertown, a city of about 24,000 people located roughly in between Madison and Milwaukee. The White House announced the visit on Monday but did not respond to a question about why Watertown was chosen. The event is not open to the public.
"They wanted to pick a town with 'water' in its name," said Watertown Mayor John David. "We've actually got tremendous drinking water."
But Watertown is also home to Wis-Pak, one of the country's largest manufacturers and distributors of Pepsi products. Wis-Pak was founded in 1969, is based in Watertown, and has manufacturing facilities in seven states and distribution centers in four states.
A company spokeswoman did not immediately return a message for comment.
Obama is using the event at Watertown High School to launch a new nationwide effort to encourage drinking more water. The White House said the effort with a Partnership for a Healthier America will bring together leaders from industry, entertainment, media and government to promote the health benefits of drinking water.
"This new effort will remind people that more water helps you have more energy and stamina so you can do more, longer and with better focus," the White House said in a press release.
David, who was elected mayor in a nonpartisan election and said he doesn't identify as a Republican or a Democrat, said Obama's stop would be great for Watertown.
"I think it's pretty exciting, and it should be a big event for our whole city," he said.
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