With an abundance of farming and growing regions, it’s no surprise that Wisconsin has a ton of food festivals. We love a celebration here, so it only makes sense to celebrate the things that sustain us! All over the state, there are some pretty amazing food festivals that everyone knows about, from Burlington Chocolatefest to the Warrens Cranberry Festival and the Cedarburg Strawberry Festival. But here’s a list of some smaller, not-as-well-known festivals that deserve your love and attendance. We promise you won’t regret it!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championships - Dodgeville
This great event is this Saturday, April 28. All about the classic comfort food, this family-friendly event is a competition, but also a great place to taste some of the most delicious and interesting grilled cheeses people can concoct. It takes place at Harris Park, 600 N Bennett Rd, Dodgeville, WI 53533
2. Morel Mushroom Festival - Muscoda
This small town turns crazed for the special morel mushroom on May 19 and 20. The whole town takes part in the festival that features tastings, a flea market, run/walk, chili cook off, horseshoe competition and so much more. And the night ends with stellar fireworks. Events happen throughout Muscoda.
3. Apple Festival - Gays Mills
September 28-30, head to Gays Mills for a pancake breakfast, carnival, run/walk, book sale, parade and more. Activities take place all across Gays Mills.
4. Burgerfest - Seymour
In its 30th year, Burlington Burgerfest will take place on September 10 and 11. The festival takes place in two parts. Downtown you'll find the famous Ketchup Slide, a fun run, a parade, eating contests and more. Over at Rock Ledge School and Park, find a field of hot air balloons that will do ascensions as well as an evening glow. The school is located at 330 W Hickory St, Seymour, WI 54165.
5. Cheese Curd Festival - Ellsworth
Ellsworth claims the title "Cheese Curd Capital of Wisconsin" and as such, celebrates a Cheese Curd Festival on June 22 and 23. There will be more than 2,300 pounds of cheese curds used in more than 20 different curd-based dishes, plus a classic car show, an antique tractor show, a 5K run, a pancake breakfast, live music and more. Stop by East End Park, 398 E Main St, Ellsworth, WI 54011.
6. Door County Cherry Fest - Jacksonport
On August 4, head to Door County celebrate one of our most famous products. There will be all kinds of baked goods, an arts and crafts show, a car show and more. It takes place at Lakeside Park & Erskine Rest Area in Jacksonport at the intersection of Hwy. 57 and County V.
7. Beef-A-Rama - Minocqua
For more than 50 years, on the last Saturday in September the smell of beef fills the air in Minocqua. The grilling starts early and folks come dressed in their cow best for the Rump Roast Run and Walk. There are also more than 70 vendors, a beef eating contest, cow pie plop and a parade. You'll find this festival on September 28, 2018 in Torpy Park, 806 US-51, Minocqua, WI 54548.
8. Watermelon Festival and U.S. Watermelon Speed-Eating and Seed-Spitting Championships - Pardeeville
Always the first Saturday after Labor Day, this official festival has all kinds of contests, your favorite summer treat, watermelon carving and so much more. Takes place at Chandler Park Dr, Pardeeville, WI 53954.
9. Bacon Bash - River Falls
On September 15 and 16, head to River Falls for the most delicious free festival you can imagine. This festival celebrates all things bacon and features cook-off competitions, pig-themed activities for the entire family, live music, merchandise from local artists and much, much more! Bacon Bash takes places at Heritage Park & Maple St. Bridge - 232 W. Maple Street, River Falls, WI 54022
10. Cookie Daze - Ripon
On August 4, bring the kiddos to Ripon for Cookie Daze. This mostly free celebration for children features a Cookie Drop along with contests, games, and of course, cookies! Cookie Daze celebrates July 11, 1992 – the day Ripon baked the biggest cookie the world had ever seen. Takes place at Barlow Park, Griswold & Watson Streets, Ripon, WI 54971.