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Wisconsin is filled with year-round events, fairs, and festivals that celebrate local harvest, food, music, beer, Oktoberfest and more. You’ll find delicious food, great entertainment, and be welcomed by the friendly folks in cities like Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, and Eau Claire. So, make sure to plan your trip through the Badger State during the most exciting festivals of the year.
If visiting the Madison area during the winter season, check out the Madison Winter Festival. This annual celebration is a reflection of the active culture of Madison and features skijoring (a combination of cross-country skiing and dog sledding), sledding, fat biking, hockey, sit skiing, curling, and snowshoeing. Though frosty outside, this is a fun festival for the entire family to enjoy.
A favorite among visitors and locals is the Winter Festival in Cedarburg. This two-day event features a barrel racing competition, the Ice-Burg Open Golf Tournament, and fun camel rides for the kiddos. The entire family can join in to enjoy ice-carving duels, dog-pulling contest, and tractor-drawn hayrides. And you will keep your bellies full at the chili cook-off and pancake breakfast.
For a little warmer weather enjoyment in Cedarburg, visit during the Strawberry Festival in June. Spend time with the family enjoying rubber-duck races, pony rides, the kids' marketplace, art contests, bounce houses, and clowns. Enter the kids in the strawberry shortcake-eating contest or see how big they can blow a bubble in the strawberry bubble-gum-blowing contest. It’s all one big perfect summer weekend with your loved ones.
Arguably, cheese is the one thing that Wisconsin is most famous for. So, if you have time for only one festival this summer, make it a cheese festival. Whether your favorite style is battered, deep fried, or squeaky fresh curds, you’ll find that cheese is served any way you want it at the Ellsworth Cheese Curd Festival. Some of the don’t miss events include the parade, pie competition, fun run, and the highlight of the festival, the cheese curd eating competition.
One of the largest farmer's markets in Wisconsin, the Dane County Farmers' Market is held each Saturday in Madison. It is a long standing tradition of the Madison region, and it supports over 300 vendors throughout the year.
The Dane County Farmers' Market is held outdoors throughout the summer near the Wisconsin State Capitol and indoors throughout the winter at the Monona Terrace and Madison Senior Center.
Nicknamed the "Big Gig," the annual Summerfest music event is a staple of the Milwaukee metropolitan area's event calendar. Established in 1968, the festival is held for 11 days from June to July at the 75-acre Henry Maier Festival Park.
Milwaukee Summerfest attendees enjoy over 700 bands across 11 stages emitting everything from “Alternative to Zydeco.” Headliners take to the Marcus Amphitheater, while other Summerfest features include local food and spirits – some provided by local Lakefront Brewery – all drawing over a million visitors each year.
Held in August, the Wisconsin State Fair is an annual event set in West Allis at Wisconsin State Fair Park – found in the Milwaukee metropolitan area'. An 11-day event, WSF has been a major Milwaukee event since 1851.
The Wisconsin State Fair draws over 900,000 attendees each year, and features rides, food, games, live music, and more. Other attractions include the Wisconsin Wine Garden, livestock shows and agricultural exhibits, and small-scale performing arts.