Wisconsin Festivals and Fairs: An Events Guide

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Wisconsin plays host to various festivals, fairs, events, and crafts shows throughout the year. If you’re planning a vacation in the Badger State, be sure to bring the whole family along. From musical and fruit festivals to winter celebrations and summer art shows, there’s always something for everyone.

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Planning and being informed about upcoming Wisconsin festivals, state fairs, free admission events, and craft shows will enable you to make an itinerary that will suit parents and kids alike.

Summerfest For A Good Time

Location: 639 E. Summerfest Place, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Watch the music industry’s top stars in the annual event of Summerfest, Milwaukee’s largest music and live entertainment festival. Beginning in late June, it’s 11 days and nights of pop, rock, country, blues, and folk music. It not only attracts big names music but also emerging artists and local talents. The venue is the Markus Amphitheater, with Lake Michigan as the backdrop for this musical event like no other.

The biggest festival in Wisconsin takes place in Milwaukee along the shores of Lake Michigan. Summerfest is a week and a half long and features a wide variety of types of music for all tastes.

This festival features a lot of different types of foods and drinks, a wide genre of music both on the main stage and on the smaller stages located throughout the grounds, and even a few rides and shows for people to enjoy. Kenny Chesney, Santana, Brittney Spears, and Christina Aguilera are among the artists who have performed at Summerfest. This festival takes place starting around the end of June and lasting into the beginning of July.

The Summerfest grounds in Milwaukee are also busy throughout the summer. Almost every weekend of the summer that Summerfest is not taking place, there is an ethnic festival to attend. Asian Moon, German Fest, Polish Fest, and Pride Fest are among a few of the festivals available. Almost every group of people has a festival to call their own making the Summerfest grounds one of the most diverse places to be.

Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival

Wisconsin Festivals and Fairs Dragon Boat Festival

Location: Barker’s Island Marina, 200 Marina Drive, Superior, IW

Experience a little bit of Asia by watching dragon boats compete at the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival. This event is an annual fundraising activity organized by the Superior Rotary Club, Duluth’s Harbortown Rotary Club, and the Superior Sunrise Centennial Rotary Club; the proceeds help charitable organizations. Held at Superior Bay, other activities aside from dragon boat racing include musical performances and fireworks.

American Players Theater

Location: 5950 Golf Course Rd, Spring Green, WI 53588

Enjoy outdoor plays at the American Players Theater (APT), located amidst the forest in Spring Green, Wisconsin. The APT takes pride in its outdoor amphitheaters, which play host to various classical plays. See its take on the works of literary masters such as Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, and John Steinbeck. The Spring Green area also offers outdoor activities such as canoeing, fishing, and hiking.

Polar Dash

Spend winter with your family at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison and join the Polar Dash. Let your kids race around a snow-covered racetrack with their very own stuffed polar bear on a sled. The Polar Dash is for kids 12 and under and is presented by Physicians Plus. This event promotes healthy living and encourages kids to be active and on the go. After the fun-filled race, the kids can go inside Olbrich’s Tropical Bolz Conservatory for more activities.

Danish Festival

Denmark, Wisconsin is home to the Danish Festival. This festival is run by the Denmark Community Business Association (DCBA) and takes place on the first Saturday in May. One of the biggest parts of the festival is the rummage sale which generally has about 116 families participating. There are also non-profit organizations that sell food and drinks during the festival. The DCBA sponsors other events throughout the year as well.

Country Jam

Location: 5775 20th Ave, Eau Claire, WI 54703

A Country Jam takes place each year in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, on the west side of the state. The event takes place on a weekend near the end of July and features several big names in country music. Names like Tim McGraw, Tracy Byrd, and Restless Heart have taken part. For those who wish to stay right in the action, camping is available on the grounds, but fills up quickly, so early reservations are recommended.

Bayfield Apple Festival

Location: 42 S Broad St, Bayfield, WI 54814

Each year, Bayfield in northern Wisconsin holds an Apple Festival. This festival takes place from mid-May through mid-June during the season when the apple trees are in blossom. There are many beautiful spring flowers to enjoy as well. One of the bigger events during the festival is the Bayfield Apple Blossom Run. There are also numerous walking tours to enjoy including a Ghost Walk. Visitors can also enjoy the shopping which includes sidewalk sales and arts and crafts sales.

Prairie Dog Blues Festival

Location: 300 N Villa Louis Rd, Prairie du Chien, WI 53821

Prairie Du Chien, which is located on the western edge of the state, holds an annual Prairie Dog Blues Festival. This event takes place at the end of July. This festival is one of the most laid back of its kind attracting people to return each year. There is camping right on site and local motels offer free shuttles to and from the festival for their patrons. Patrons enjoy blues music for 2 full days.

Wisconsin Festivals and Fairs jazz festival

Great River Jazz Festival For A Fun-Filled Day

Location: Riverside Park, 100 State St, La Crosse, WI 54601

Also on the western edge of Wisconsin is La Crosse. This city features an annual Great River Jazz Festival for those who enjoy jazz music. This festival takes place every August. This festival has 4 days filled with jazz music and other small events. Participants are also invited to take a dinner cruise or other type of cruise out on the Mississippi River while they are in the area.

Rock Fest

Location: 24447 County Hwy S, Cadott, WI 54727

For those who prefer rock music, Cadott, in central Wisconsin, offers Rock Fest in mid-July. This event is held rain or shine and tickets are non-refundable. Big names play on each of the 5 days of the festival.

Brat Fest For Some Family-Friendly Fun

Madison’s Brat Fest, sponsored by Johnsonville, takes place on Willow Island at the Alliant Energy Center every Memorial Day Weekend. The festival features local celebrity servers, live performances of cover bands, carnival rides, and games, and hundreds of thousands of bratwurst prepared on enormous outdoor grills.


Reggae Festival

Location: 11332 Main Street, Trempealeau, WI 54661

Trempealeau, a small town overlooking the Mississippi River on the western border of Wisconsin, features an annual Reggae Festival in mid-May. Located at the historic Trempealeau Hotel, the festival consists of music, shopping, and Jamaican food.

Wisconsin Micro-Brewers Beer Fest

Location: Calumet County Fairgrounds, 900 Francis St, Chilton, WI 53014

The Wisconsin Micro-Brewers Beer Fest takes place in Chilton, close to Appleton in the eastern part of the state. Beer Fest, which takes place yearly in May, features stations from about thirty microbreweries, as well as live music and other activities. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Annual Chocolate Festival – Burlington Jamboree

Location: 681 Maryland Ave, Burlington, WI 53105

Burlington, located in the southeastern region of the state, offers an annual Chocolate Festival in late May. The festival includes a carnival, parade, and fireworks display, in addition to the Chocolate Experience Tent. Events in the tent include chef demonstrations, chocolate trivia games, a chocolate-eating contest, and a chocolate and wine event.

Milwaukee Highland Games For Some Family Fun

Wisconsin Festivals and Fairs Highland Games

Location: W167 S6827 Oakhill Dr, Muskego, WI 53150

The Highland Games, held in Milwaukee in early June, highlight traditional Scottish sporting events and activities. Events range from dance and band competitions to longbow and axe-throwing, and sheepdog demonstrations. Vendors at the Games offer traditional Scottish goods and food.

Art In The Park In Lake Geneva For The Entire Family

Location: 201 Wrigley Dr, Lake Geneva, WI 53147

Lake Geneva’s Art in the Park festival is an outdoor juried art show held on the shores of Lake Geneva. Dozens of artists display fine art including paintings, pottery, and metalwork.

Other smaller but also great county fairs and festivals in Wisconsin

Annual June Dairyfest - Breakfast, parade, art & craft fair, and live music. Held in Marshfield, WI.
Thorp Dairy Days - Tractor pull, music, parade, horse pull, flea market, and fireworks. Held in Thorp, WI.
Greek/Serbian Festival - Food, ethnic music, and ethnic dance. Held at 1205 W. Prospect Avenue, Appleton, WI.
Wolf River Classic Car Show/Swap Meet and Craft Show - Food music, car show, swap meet, and flea market. Held at 801 Werner-Allen Blvd, New London, WI.
Marathon County June Dairy Breakfast - Food, petting zoo, face painting, farm equipment, farm tour, raffles, music, and kids pedal tractor pulls. Held in Ringle, WI.
Marathon County June Dairy Breakfast - Food, displays, contests, local celebrities, and door prizes. Held at 5530 Fairview Drive, Eau Claire, WI.
Appleton Flag Day Parade - Starts at the intersection of State Street and College Avenue in Appleton, WI.
Greenwood Dairy Days - Art & craft fair, garage sales, parade, tractor pull, carnival, music, and food. Held at 212 S. Main Street, Greenwood, WI.
Stratford Heritage Days - Ethnic food and entertainment, carnival, bed races, and parade. Held at 350 N 3rd Avenue, Stratford, WI.
Neillsville June Dairy Breakfast - Food and activities. Held at N3468 River Avenue, Neillsville, WI.
Taylor County Town & Country Dairy Breakfast - Exhibits, music, prizes, and food vendors. Held in Medford, WI.
Lincoln County June Dairy Breakfast - Booths, food, games, and prizes. Held at 1208 N. Center Avenue, Merrill, WI.
Edgar FFA Alumni Dairy Breakfast - Petting zoo, face painting, food, and pedal tractor pull. Held at 1306 County Road N, Edgar, WI.
June Dairy Days - Food and children's activities. Held in Chippewa Falls, WI.
Wausau Summer Kick-off - Outdoor movie, climbing wall, and food. Held at 426 3rd Street, Wausau, WI.
Bayfest Live - Live music, marketplace, food, and children's activities. Held in Downtown Green Bay, WI.
Dorchester Days - Tractor pull, mini-rod pull, carnival, parade, food, craft beers made localy and music. Held in Dorchester, WI.
Withee Days - Food, music, and a parade. Held in Withee, WI.
Leinie Lodge Annual Reunion - Food, beverage, and entertainment. Held at 1 Jefferson Avenue, Chippewa Falls, WI.
Solstice on Grand Art Faire - Music, food, awards, and tours. Held at 505 W. Grand Avenue, Chippewa Falls, WI.
Waupaca Strawberry Fest - Model railroad exhibits, displays, and food. Held in Waupaca, WI.
Cadott Country Fest - Live country music with some of today's hottest performers, food, and camping. Held on County Rd S, Cadott, WI.
Cranberry Blossom Festival - Music, parade, art & craft fair, and food from local farmers. Held at 2507 8th Street, Wisconsin Rapids, WI.
St. Anne's Polka Fest - Music, bingo, kid's games, great food, polka mass, and crafts. Held at 700 W. Bridge Street, Wausau, WI.
Riverfront Rendezvous - Music, food, beverages, fireworks, and a boat parade. Held in Stevens Point, WI.
Appleton Fireworks - Bands, children's activities, food, and fireworks. Held in Memorial Park, Appleton, WI.
Eau Claire 4th of July Celebration - Music and fireworks. Held in Eau Claire, WI.
Mosinee 4th of July Festival - Food, music, parade, and fireworks. Held at 1101 Main Street, Mosinee, WI.
Big Bull Falls BBQ Ribfest - Balloon rally and food. Held at 725 Woods Pl, Wausau, WI.
Owen Junior Fair - Carnival, craft show, food, fireworks, parade, tractor pull, 4-wheeler pull, garage sales, and fire department water fight. Held in Owen, WI.
Cadott Nabor Days - Booths, carnival, petting zoo, cattle judging, pageant, and parade. Held in Cadott, WI.
Wisconsin Farm Technology Days - Exhibits, entertainment, food, and children's activities. Held at M243 State Rd 97, Marshfield, WI.
Northern Wisconsin State Fair - A family-friendly event with crafts, exhibits, food, and entertainment. Held in Chippewa Falls, WI.
Rockfest - Live rock music with some of today's hottest performers, food, and camping. Held on County Rd S, Cadott, WI.
Colby Cheese Days - ATV pull, music, tractor pull, carnival, food, beverage, and contests. Held in Colby, WI.
Lincoln County 4-H Fair - Exhibits, entertainment, and food. Held at 2001 E. 2nd Street, Merrill, WI.
Country Jam USA - Live music by some of today's most popular music acts. Held at 3633 Cresent Avenue, Eau Claire, WI.
Hub City Days - Music, food, crafts, car show, and brew fest. Held in Marshfield, WI.

Final Thoughts on Wisconsin Festivals and Fairs

So no matter what you are in the mood for, you are almost guaranteed to find a festival in Wisconsin to meet your interests. These festivals range from ethnic festivals to music festivals. Most of them have things for the whole family to enjoy and others are geared more towards the older crowds.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Wisconsin Festivals and Fairs

What can I expect at the Wisconsin State Fair? The Wisconsin State Fair, held annually in West Allis, offers a delightful blend of entertainment, agriculture, and food. Visitors can enjoy live music, carnival rides, agricultural exhibits, unique food vendors, and much more.

Are there any niche festivals in Wisconsin? Absolutely! Wisconsin boasts a variety of niche festivals celebrating everything from cheese and cranberries to kites and hot air balloons. The EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh is a must-visit for aviation enthusiasts.

Are these festivals family-friendly? Yes, most Wisconsin festivals and fairs are family-friendly, featuring activities for all ages. From children’s rides to interactive exhibits and kid-friendly entertainment, these events are designed to be enjoyed by the whole family.

What types of foods are available at these events? Wisconsin festivals and fairs are renowned for their diverse culinary offerings. You’ll find classic fair foods like corn dogs and funnel cakes, as well as local specialties such as bratwurst, cheese curds, and butter burgers.

Are tickets required for entry? Ticket requirements vary depending on the event. Some festivals have free admission, while others might charge an entry fee. Special attractions or concerts within the festival grounds might also require separate tickets.


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