Maybe it’s because we only get so many warm months, but here in Wisconsin, we sure love a festival. We’ll celebrate anything if it gives us a chance to be outside, enjoying the warmer months. Sure, Milwaukee is known as the City of Festivals, but you don’t have to head there to find some great food, fun and friends at festivals this summer.
In no particular order, here are some of the best small-town festivals held in Wisconsin. Put on your stretchy pants and get ready to enjoy the best we have to offer:
1. Beef-A-Rama - Minocqua
Part beef cookoff, part wonderful and silly small town festival, this one takes play September 29 -30, 2017. There's a roaster parade, 5K and 10K runs, live music and of course all the roast beef sandwiches you can eat.
2. Flyway Film Festival - Pepin
This independent film festival features more than 40 films, panels, discussions and more. It takes place from October 18-22, 2017.
3. Taylor County Lions and Lioness Maple Fest - Medford
This one day festival takes place on April 29, 2017 and starts with a pancake breakfast. Maple syrup judging, cooking and baking contests, demonstrations and how to tap a tree are on the schedule.
4. Watermelon Festival - Pardeeville
Celebrating 50 years in 2017, this festival is all about the melon. Home to the U. S. Watermelon Speed-Eating and Seed-Spitting Championships, Inc., you know where you should be on September 9.
5. Rhubarb Days - Osceola
This celebration of the lovely rhubarb plant features a Duckathon, movie night, bake-off and more. It takes place June 2-4 2017.
6. HamburgerFest and Balloon Rally - Seymour
Seymour claims to be the home of the hamburger and this festival celebrates all things burger. Featuring a Hamburger Parade, Ketchup Slide, Bun Run and more. Plus, there's a hot air balloon festival. August 11-12, 2017.
7. Applefest - Bayfield
Welcome fall with this festival October 6-8, 2017. Featuring apple peeling contest, a parade, fish fry, more than 60 orchards and a farmers market, it's been called one of the best fall festivals in the country.
8. Butterfest - Sparta
It only makes sense that America's Dairyland celebrates butter. Sparta meets June 8-11, 2017 to celebrate one of our best products with a parade, royalty, softball tournament, cornhole contest and so much more.
9. Festivale Italiano - Hurley
On September 2, Hurley celebrates Italian-style with tons of great food, a craft fair, live music and more.
10. Morel Mushroom Festival - Muscoda
Eat more than your fair share of this delicacy, whether fried or in a brat, at this festival on May 20-21, 2017. Helicopter rides, a flea market, a horseshoes tournament and chainsaw carving show highlight the schedule.
11. Bacon Bash - River Falls
They call this two-day festival "pork-tacular" and they aren't kidding. Eat all the bacon-flavored things you'd never even imagined and enjoy Pig Races, Pet Costume Parade, Kid's Eating, Pig Wing Eating, Pig Calling/Impersonation Contests, the quirky official Pig Pardon, "When Pigs Fly" (plush pigs are flung from the rooftops) and "When Pigs Float" (plastic pigs float down the Kinnickinnic River). September 16-17, 2017.
12. Venetian Festival - Lake Geneva
Lake Geneva takes advantage of its lake property with a boat parade, water ski show, live music, carnival and fireworks at this festival August 16-20, 2017.
13. Balloon and Ribfest and Chalkfest - Wausau
A celebration of ribs highlighted by spectacular fireworks and the hot air balloon rally, RibFest is July 13-16, 2017. Chalkfest coincides on July 15-16 and you'll be amazed by the art folks create on the sidewalks in downtown Wausau.
14. Grill Games - Kenosha
Think you've got what it takes to be a grill master? This competition features live music, a beer garden and more grilled meat than you can stomach.
15. Corn n' Tater Festival - Grand Marsh
A corn-eating contest, volleyball tournament, horseshoes and more await you the third Sunday in August in Grand Marsh. See it all unfold on August 20, 2017.
16. Walleye Weekend - Fond du Lac
This fisherman's paradise festival features contests for everyone, bingo, three different live music stages, and all the walleye you could ever want.
17. Beer, Bacon and Cheese Festival - New Glarus
Three of the best things in the world combine in one of the most quaint towns in Wisconsin on June 10, 2017. A limited number of wristbands get you all the samples you could ever want and access to the Polka Tent.
18. Cheese Curd Festival - Ellsworth
Ellsworth is the Cheese Curd Capital of the World and this festival, June 23-24, 2017, celebrates Wisconsin's favorite squeaky snack. Live music, cooking demos, a sweet dessert curd and more await you at this delicious festival.