Fairs & Festivals in Wisconsin
Here in Wisconsin, we love celebrating the food, music and culture that makes us unique. Our major annual events include Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival, and the 11-day-long Wisconsin State Fair. But beyond these well-known celebrations, we Wisconsinites have so much more to offer in the realm of fairs and festivals, which give us an excuse to celebrate with you year-round.
One of the best ways to experience Wisconsin is by attending a food festival or two.
Eat your way through the Sweet Corn Festival in Sun Prairie, a four-day summer event with a parade, carnival rides, live music, beer and sweet corn. In the fall, attend the Bayfield Apple Festival for three days of festival food, live music and fun traditions like an apple peeling contest or Warrens Cranberry Festival offering marsh tours as well as parades and food contests and vendors.
Another beloved annual tradition is Taste of Madison. Held in the Wisconsin state capital every Labor Day weekend, this event showcases dozens of local restaurants alongside live music and a backdrop of the iconic Wisconsin State Capitol building.
Fun Music Festivals
Besides Summerfest, Wisconsin is home to a handful of music festivals celebrating all the genres.
If you like Latin music, you don't want to miss Los Dells, the largest festival of its kind in the country. Enjoy live performances from your favorite musical artists along with art installations and delectable eats. Plus, this festival is held just outside one of the country’s best spots for family vacations — the Wisconsin Dells.
One of several country music festivals held every year is Country Thunder, hosted in Twin Lakes, the only Wisconsin city to host the festival. Enjoy the thrills of hearing the biggest stars in country music all weekend long while you camp on-site.
For a mix of folk, rock and bluegrass, attend the Mile of Music held in Appleton every summer. Attendees can enjoy indoor and outdoor musical performances from solo artists, singer-songwriters and duos.
Entertaining Cultural Events
Wisconsin also has plenty of cultural events, thanks to the melting pot of cultures found here.
Celebrate everything German at the annual Milwaukee German Fest held in the fall. This long-running event is known for its authentic food, delicious beer and polka music. Fans of German cuisine and music also head to La Crosse to partake in the longest-running Oktoberfest in the Midwest. The festival features two parades, craft beer tastings, wiener dog races and carnival rides. Green Bay also gets in on the fun with Craftoberfest, where you can sample hundreds of craft beers in one place.
Meanwhile, Cedar Falls Holland Fest is ideal for the whole family. Attendees come to experience the food and culture of Holland at this alcohol-free event organized with children in mind.
Here in Wisconsin, we love throwing quirky events unique to the Badger State.
During Beef-A-Rama in September, the streets of downtown Minocqua fill up with attendees dressed in cow-themed costumes. Other highlights include 10K and 5K races, live music, a beef-eating contest and plenty of beefy vendors. Another cow-related event, the Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw held on Labor Day weekend, includes food, entertainment and a cow chip throw competition. And you don't want to miss the Ellsworth Cheese Curd Festival, another summertime event featuring dozens of cheese curd-style dishes, craft beers, ciders and local wines.
Our fairs and festivals feature the essential elements for a good time — delicious food, catchy music and fun traditions. Join us in celebrating just about anything on your next family vacation, romantic getaway, or birthday trip.
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