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Ripon is the home of the Little White Schoolhouse where the Republican Party was founded in 1854. Walking tours feature the city’s historic downtown and the campus of 150-year-old Ripon College. Nearby, Larson’s Clydesdales is nationally famous for its gentle giants.
Mark these events on your calendar:
- In August we celebrate being CookieTown USA with a free, family festival (really, mostly for kids!) jam-packed with cookie fun.
- Septemberfest brings fall-flavored fun to Ripon. Sample tasty food, test your strength in a pedal tractor pull, cheer kids on in the lip-sync competition, admire classic cars & motorcycles, and make sure you catch the mascot race...it’s a hoot.
- Number one for holiday fun is Ripon’s Dickens of a Christmas weekend, an old-fashioned celebration of family, tradition, and the Christmas Spirit. Not to be missed are the Dickens Living Windows on Friday evening of that weekend in our historic downtown.
Must see attractions:
- Ripon’s most notable attraction is a National Historic Landmark that became part of political history in 1854. On March 20th of that year, Ripon citizens gathered in the district schoolhouse to oppose the spread of slavery. Those citizens voted to create a new political party and to call it Republican. Today the Little White Schoolhouse stands as a monument to active citizenship and is a museum of education and political history.
- Just outside of Ripon is the only Clydesdale ranch in the Midwest where you can get up close and personal with those gentle giants. You can even pet a baby Clydesdale each season! Larson’s Famous Clydesdales do a tour and show 6 days a week, spring to fall.
In 2011, Ripon was named one of the top ten coolest small towns in America...and we haven’t lost any of our cool yet. Many aspects of Ripon combined to win us that title: our historic downtown, with some buildings dating from the mid 1800s, the site of where the first washing machine was built in 1908, the diversity of our architecture, which includes painted lady Victorians, Italianate, and Neoclassical, and the fact that Ripon College sits in the heart of the city, sharing the “gown’s” history and culture with the town. But the coolest thing about our neighborhood is the warmth and openness of the people who live and work here. We can’t wait to meet you!
Don't leave without tasting...
For a town our size, Ripon offers a surprising variety of restaurants that cater to tastes ranging from adventurous to traditional. You could spend a week here just discovering what fun it is to eat in Ripon. So bring your appetite and we’ll show you a great time!
Classic scenic drive.
One of the best things about Ripon is that we are surrounded by beautiful countryside. No matter which way you come into town, you will have driven past lush fields, farms, and woods filled with a variety of trees (and birds!). It’s especially pretty in the fall, but spring, summer and winter are lovely, too. Getting off of the highways will take you into the most scenic areas around Ripon. We can show you how to do the back road tour and get away from traffic that is bent on just getting there. We recommend that you take some time to enjoy the journey as well as the destination.