Vital State-istics: 5 'World's Largest' Wisconsin Records

By Emma Pankratz
Special to

If you take a look at Wisconsin’s impressive collection of world records, you might get a pretty good hint of what is important to the state—we in Wisconsin love our dairy cows, brats and good music just to name a few!  

Wisconsin is home to more than 20 attractions and events that hold the record for the biggest in the country and the world. From the world’s largest musky in Hayward to the world’s largest brat fest in Madison, you can find these tributes to Wisconsin culture all over the state.

Check out five of the many ways that Wisconsin lives large!

World’s Largest Music Festival Milwaukee

Summerfest is one of Milwaukee’s most anticipated events of the year, bringing together 11 days of music on 11 different stages with 800 music acts to make it the “World’s Largest Music Festival,” a record the event has held for more than 15 years!

The fest, which began in 1968, hosts around 900,000 attendees annually, and it’s not hard to see why—you can see endless musical acts, spend time with friends and family, eat tasty food from local vendors, and kick back and people watch all in one place.

Summerfest does it big as the highlight of the summer for many attendees from Wisconsin and around the world—it’s a festival experience like no other!

World’s Largest Brat Fest Madison

Talk about a tradition of excellence—Madison’s Brat Fest has been serving up sausage for more than 30 years. The self-proclaimed “World’s Largest Brat Fest” serves up hotdogs and brats every Memorial Day to raise money for local charities, drawing in visitors from all over Wisconsin who are looking to get their fix for a good cause.

Typically selling between 150,000 and 200,000 brats annually, the fest had its record year in 2010 with 209,376 brats sold.

Brat Fest also includes performances from locally and nationally renowned music acts and features “celebrity” grillers and servers from the local community. And don’t forget a visit from the iconic Oscar Mayer Weinermobile!

Tons of family fun every year, this event is frequently named in Parade Magazine’s list of top 100 food festivals in America. No doubt about it, Wisconsinites love their brats.

World’s Largest Six Pack La Crosse

Something else Wisconsin knows a lot about—beer. La Crosse is home to the world’s largest six pack of beer, and the “cans” are actually full!

The adjacent City Brewing Company uses the huge tanks in the brewing process, and they can collectively hold up to 688,200 gallons of beer—that’s enough to fill 7,340,196 cans.

After City Brewery took over the facility from the Heileman Brewing Company, they decorated the tanks, which originally sported the Old Style logo, with the logo of their own “La Crosse Lager” to look like the city’s classic brew. 

Don’t even think about tackling this one—if you drank at a rate of six regular-sized beers per day, you’d need 3,351 years to finish!

World’s Largest Musky Hayward

Wisconsin is home to some more obscure records, too, like the world’s largest musky fish in Hayward.

You won’t miss it on a drive through town—this “Shrine to Anglers” is four and a half stories tall and takes up the length of half a city block. Shaped like a gigantic fish leaping out of water, the fiberglass statue celebrates fishing, one of Wisconsin’s favorite pastimes.

Visitors can even journey inside the musky, with stairs leading up to an opening in its mouth with a beautiful panoramic view of Hayward and its surrounding lakes. The landmark is part of the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum, which houses sportfishing artifacts from past to present that will tickle the fancy of any fishing fanatic.

World’s Largest Talking Cow Neillsville

A giant dairy cow that talks? Only in Wisconsin! The world’s largest talking cow, “Chatty Belle,” was “born” in 1964 as Wisconsin’s contribution to the World’s Fair, and still stands today in a Neillsville museum with a private collection of memorabilia from the 1964-65 fair.

Visitors can press a button and hear Chatty Belle’s friendly shtick while taking in the impressively large bovine—she is 16 feet tall and 20 feet long, seven times larger than the average Holstein.

A perfect homage to the dairy state, Chatty Belle stands as one of Wisconsin’s many endearing roadside attractions. Not to mention, she’s also quite the social media maven—check her out on Facebook and Twitter


Looking for more fun stops? Check out these 13 quirky roadside attractions in Wisconsin!

This entry was posted in History & Heritage