State Cow Chip Throw, UFO Day and extra wacky Wisconsin festivals – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Milwaukee has been known as the Metropolis of Festivals, for its packed schedule of fêtes alongside Lake Michigan in the summertime. 

However the remainder of Wisconsin is aware of how one can throw a great social gathering, too.  

There are your conventional small-town parades and fireworks celebrations round holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, however some cities get inventive with their festivals, celebrating native delicacies and claims to fame.  

Right here’s a have a look at a few of the wackiest festivals in Wisconsin over the summer time. 

Morel Mushroom Competition  

Could 18-19, Muscoda 

Morels have hole tubes with suggestions that resemble little brains. (Photograph: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recordsdata)

Morels are so uncommon, and rarefied, that they get their very own pageant in Muscoda each Could. 1000’s head to the village alongside the Decrease Wisconsin River, dubbed Wisconsin’s Morel Mushroom Capital, to seek for and savor the elusive mushroom that pops up in woods in spring. The pageant contains morels on the market (they’ll price upwards of $20/pound) and ready morel meals (together with the basic favourite, fried), plus an arts and crafts truthful, flea market, fireworks and a parade. 

Sparta Butterfest 

June 6-9, Sparta 

June is Dairy Month in Wisconsin, and also you butter consider Sparta goes to have a good time. Town’s first celebration in 1984 was merely Sparta Fest Days. The next 12 months it was modified to Sparta Butter Competition for the “state award successful butter makers who labored on the native milk plant,” the pageant’s web site notes. The title was modified once more in 1992 to Butterfest, and it’s been that ever since. The pageant has the standard arts and crafts on the market, a automobile present and meals, plus a dairy particular cow-milking contest. Groups compete to see who can get probably the most milk in 4, one-minute rounds. 

Cheese Curd Competition 

June 21-22, Ellsworth 

Cheese curds are a Wisconsin staple. (Photograph: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The state’s best delicacy has its personal pageant within the official Cheese Curd Capital of Wisconsin, so proclaimed by Governor Anthony S. Earl in 1984. On the time, the Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery was producing greater than 19 million kilos of cheese curds; at the moment they make greater than 180,000 kilos each day. The weekend pageant options greater than 5,000 kilos of cheese curds and 20-plus dishes made with curds, plus a cheese-curd consuming contest, dwell music, a basic automobile present and a vendor market. 

Ducktona 500  

July 7, Sheboygan Falls

A scene from the 28th Annual Ducktona 500 Household Competition & Automotive and Vintage Boat Present Sunday July three, 2016 at River Park in Sheboygan Falls. (Photograph: Gary C. Klein/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)

Safe a rubber duck for a race down the Sheboygan River that options 1000’s of the plastic toys; winners take residence huge money prizes. The pageant additionally features a basic automobile present, dwell music, carnival rides and a Child Zone with bounce homes.  

Wisconsin is squeaky cheese curds, fishing spots, Packers followers and time spent by the lake. It’s additionally the Milwaukee entrepreneur, the Hmong artisan and the dairy farmer. Tales in our Be Wisconsin sequence have a look at deeply rooted custom and on the shocking methods the state tradition is altering.

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Wisconsin is squeaky cheese curds, fishing spots, Packers followers and time spent by the lake. It’s additionally the Milwaukee entrepreneur, the Hmong artisan and the dairy farmer. Tales in our Be Wisconsin sequence have a look at deeply rooted custom and on the shocking methods the state tradition is altering.

Learn extra

Sovereign State Days

July 18-21, Winneconne

In 1967, the village of Winneconne (pop. 1,273 on the time) was left off the official Wisconsin freeway map. To place itself again on the map, so to talk, Winneconne seceded from the state on July 21, 1967. Throughout the day, the governor responded and promised to position indicators on Highways 41 and 110 and permit the village to overview the 1968 map earlier than it printed. That was sufficient for Winneconne, which rejoined the state that day and celebrates its day of revolt with an annual pageant that features fireworks, a parade, video games, contests and meals.

Tall Ships Competition 

July 26-28, Inexperienced Bay  


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This pageant that includes historic ships isn’t tremendous wacky, however the World’s Largest Rubber Duck that’s scheduled to make an look is. The 11-ton fowl, referred to as Mama Duck, is 61 ft tall and might be on the pageant all weekend, prepared for selfies however not for boarding. Guests can board and even sail on a few of the 9 ships that may dock in Leicht Memorial Park, the place there will even be meals and drinks on the market, a youngsters’s space, dwell music, and fireworks on Friday evening. Common admission tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors (62+) and $10 for youths ages 5-12 (ages four and below are free). Children are solely $5 on Sunday, Household Day. The 90-minute crusing excursions are offered out; tickets for three-hour sails are nonetheless accessible and begin at $110. 

UFO Days 

July 27-28, Elmwood 

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Within the 1970s, a number of residents of this small village in western Wisconsin reported seeing mysterious lights and flying objects. That was sufficient for the city to dub itself the UFO Capital of Wisconsin and start internet hosting a pageant in 1978. The pageant features a parade with alien-themed floats and a aircraft that drops paper plates with coupons for native companies.  

Belleville additionally hosts a UFO Day in October to commemorate sightings there.

Burger Fest 

Aug. 12, Seymour 


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Nearly each pageant has hamburgers, however what number of have a 200-pound burger and a Large Ketchup Slide? Discover it in Seymour, the birthplace of the burger. Town’s annual celebration additionally features a Bun Run, a automobile present, the World’s Largest Hamburger Parade and a burger-eating contest. Admission is $three prematurely and $5 on the gate; youngsters 12 and below are free. 

Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw 

Aug. 30-31, Prairie du Sac 

43rd annual Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw and Competition Sept. 2, 2017, at Marion Park in Prairie du Sac. (Photograph: Colleen Kottke/Wisconsin State Farmer)

“To get a greater maintain in your chip, it’s possible you’ll lick your fingers earlier than you throw,” the chip chuckin’ guidelines for this pageant state. “(That is non-obligatory),” they go on to make clear. What’s not non-obligatory: naked palms. No gloves allowed. The state file for the longest throw is 248 ft, chucked by Greg Neumaier of Sauk Prairie in 1991. The ladies’s file is 157 ft, 5 inches, tossed by Oak Creek’s Terry Wallschleger in 2005. Different actions all through the day embody a 5K/10Okay, an arts and crafts truthful, youngsters’s video games and a parade. 


Sept. 7, Manitowoc


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In 1962, a 20-pound hunk of the Russian satellite tv for pc Sputnik IV crash-landed in Manitowoc. A metallic ring close to the nook of North Eighth and Park streets marks the spot, and a duplicate of the chunk is on show within the close by Rahr-West Artwork Museum (the true factor was despatched again to Russia). The city commemorates the historic occasion with this spacey pageant, that includes alien costumes, the Ms. House Particles Pageant, a Cosmic Cake competitors and dwell leisure.  

Watermelon Competition 

Sept. 7, Pardeeville 

In 1968 this small city close to Portage was searching for one thing to place it on the map, and the U.S. Watermelon Pace-Consuming & Seed-Spitting Championships have been born. From there the pageant has expanded to incorporate a largest watermelon competitors, watermelon carving and different typical pageant fare.  


Sept. 28, Minocqua 

This Northwoods vacationer city is extra woods than cow pasture, however beef is well known right here each September. The pageant contains a Roast Parade, the place meat is actually paraded down Principal St.; beef sandwiches on the market; a roasting competitors; a beef-eating contest; a 5K/10Okay Rump Roast Run and Stroll; and many cow costumes.  

Cabbage Chuck World Championships 

September, Shiocton 

The annual cabbage chuck fundraiser in Shiocton is again. (Photograph: Ron Web page/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin)

Welcome to Wisconsin, the place we chuck something that may be chucked, together with cabbage at this pageant. Chuckers can compete utilizing their very own brute power or a catapult they’ve constructed. Different actions at Shiocton Lake Park embody a largest cabbage contest, a silent public sale and children’ video games. Admission is $three per individual; youngsters below 16 are admitted free. 

Bonus: Snowshoe Baseball 

Mondays, June-August, Lake Tomahawk 

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Snowhawks pitcher Craig Holmquist (proper) races to first base for a pressured out by The Brick’s T.J. Lelonek throughout their snowshoe baseball recreation June 22, 2015, in Lake Tomahawk. (Photograph: Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

This isn’t a pageant however a wacky weekly occasion in Lake Tomahawk. Each summer time the city covers its baseball diamond with noticed chips and gamers strap on snowshoes and compete in a softball recreation whereas carrying the clunky footwear. Ordinary baseball concessions are offered alongside pies made by neighborhood members. Proceeds go to native organizations. Video games are held at Snowshoe Park at 7:30 p.m. each Monday, mid-June via the top of August. 

Contact Chelsey Lewis at (414) 224-2144 or Observe her on Twitter at @chelseylew and @TravelMJS and Fb at Journal Sentinel Journey.

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