Unique Wisconsin Summer Festivals
Last Updated: 6/1/2015
There is no better time to discover the unique offerings of a Wisconsin summer than during festival season. Communities and visitors alike come together at countless festivals across the state to enjoy everything from ribs and beer to butterflies. Relax and bask in the swing of summer as you indulge in festival season and join in on these celebrations!
Feeling as though summer is fluttering away? Then head to Black River Falls for a celebration that will help you capture summer’s essence and preserve the fleeting beauty of the endangered Karner blue butterfly. Karner blue butterflies are indigenous to Wisconsin, yet without recovery, their extinction is imminent. The Karner Blue Butterfly Festival celebrates the perseverance of a species and a season.
If you’re a fan of ribs and beer (which it would be difficult not to be) make sure to mark your calendars for Chetek’s Brew and Ribfest! Bring old friends and meet new ones as you sample countless brews and indulge in fire grilled ribs. Be sure to get your tickets in advance!
Whether you prefer sitting on the shoreline and taking in the view, or getting on the water yourself, the Dragon Boat Festival in Superior is the perfect water retreat for the entire family. The majestic revenue of Barker’s Island is a pristine spot for paddlers and spectators alike. First-time and seasoned paddlers are welcome to participate!
Tucked away in Boulder Junction is one of the greatest summer blowouts that will have you celebrating from sunrise to sunset for days. The Musky Fun Run will have you racing off the beaten path as you explore the countless activities and attractions that the festival has to offer. Head to the musky capital of the world for unbeatable summer fun!
You don’t have to be an expert on cars to understand the unbeatable feeling of rolling the windows down and unwinding as you cruise along the Wisconsin countryside. Every year, more than 165,000 people retreat in appreciation of such timeless pleasure, traveling toward the center of our state for the Iola Old Car Show. Situated on 300 acres, the show draws collectors, enthusiasts and visitors from all around the nation. The magnificent spectacle and beauty of the collectible time machines is only matched by the extraordinary charity fundraiser.
Milwaukee’s Bastille Days brings France right to your door and is one of the largest French themed celebrations in the country. This unique celebration makes experiencing French culture possible without leaving Wisconsin, allowing you to sample French food, wine, music and dance. Explore Bastille Days and enjoy all that Wisconsin has to offer!
The timeless charm and alluring history of Sheboygan Falls will inspire you to visit and allow you to live like a local. Sheboygan’s annual Ducktona 500 festival encapsulates the love of tradition and fun that defines their community. The classic car show and duck race engages locals and visitors alike.
Checking things off your summer to-do list? Head to Waterford Balloon Festival for a hot air balloon voyage into the wild blue yonder! Whether you watch the balloons with your feet on the ground or sail into the sky for a new view of Wisconsin, attending this festival will renew your childish wonder in the magic of hot air balloons.
Outdoor activities are essential to the experience of summer. There is no better place or time to enjoy the variety of activities that Wisconsin’s blue lakes and green scenery has to offer than at Madison’s Clean Lakes Festival at Law Park. Get out in nature and attend the water ski clinics held by the Mad-City Ski Team, or bring a lawn chair and relax on the shoreline as concerts are held on the lake! The event raises money to support projects to clean up Wisconsin lakes.
Do you ever miss the days when cowboys were more than just an NFL team? Satisfy such nostalgia at Wisconsin’s rowdiest re-creation of the old west. Viroqua’s Wild West days revives the old with the new during their celebration, keeping the days of hog wrestling and rodeos alive! Enjoy the horse drawn parade or bring the kids to the little britches rodeo.
Do you have a favorite Wisconsin fair or festival? Find even more you can experience here.