15 Unique Wisconsin Events & Festivals for Summer 2011

Did you miss out on attending the International Wood Tick Races or ChocolateFest in May?

Do not make the same mistake again this summer while you drive across Wisconsin looking for unusual celebrations. Here is a list of the most unique events, arranged by date:

1. Snowshoe Baseball (Lake Tomahawk, Oneida County)
For those of you who are sick of watching local town ball players easily maneuvering around the bases in practical cleats, your not-so-big-league dreams have come true! This summer marks the 50th Anniversary of snowshoe baseball in Lake Tomahawk, where the teams must play wearing snowshoes on a field of wood chips. This is not just a one-time event. You can catch the Snowhawks defending their turf 11 times this summer.
Dates: ( Mondays at 7:30pm) June 20 through August 29, 2011
Location: Snowshoe Park
www.laketomahawkwi.org

2. Cheese Curd Festival (Ellsworth, Pierce County)
A weekend of worship devoted to the little squeaky globs of milk solids. Ellsworth is the official Cheese Curd Capital of Wisconsin, which is celebrated by this annual event. Amidst the usual truck pulls, musical acts, and petting zoos are these noteworthy events:
– The Great Cheese Curd Medallion Hunt (Solve the clues to win Ellsworth Dollars!)
– Cheese Curd 10K Run (Inadvisable if your belly is full of digesting curds.)
– Cheese Curd Sampling (The perfect alternative to the aforementioned run.)
– Cheezy Ridder Kiddie Parade (See a child dressed up as a box of butter.)
– Cheezy Bingo (Unknown why it is considered cheesy.)
– 10th Annual Cheese Curd Festival Parade (Display your curd-loving pride!)
– Cheese Curd Eating Contest (I do not envy your later visit to the latrine.)
Dates: June 23 – 26, 2011
Location: Pierce County Fairgrounds
www.ellsworthchamber.com

3. World Championship Snowmobile Watercross (Grantsburg, Burnett County)
This is just what it sounds like: snowmobiles being driven across open water in the summertime. Do some sink? Yes, indeed. Others make it hundreds of feet to solid ground again and on to the winner’s circle. For those who don’t like racing, there are wrist wrestling contests that you may enjoy. Don’t forget the Bloody Mary specials at the Rendezvous Bar! Racing starts at noon on Friday and 9:30am on Saturday & Sunday.
Dates: July 15 – 17, 2011
Location: Memory Lake Park
www.grantsburgwatercross.com

4. Sovereign State Days (Winneconne, Winnebago County)
In 1967, an event transpired that nearly tore our beloved state apart: the community of Winneconne was left off of the official highway map of Wisconsin. Town leaders organized to secede from the rest of the Dairy State (and the USA), designed their own flag, and named their king. But the rebellion was short lived as the governor agreed to put up extra signage directing motorists to Winneconne. Celebrate this event in Winneconne’s history with a parade, circus, and musical acts.
Dates: July 15 – 17, 2011
Location: Marble Park
www.sovereignstateofwinneconne.com

5. UFO Daze (Dundee, Fond du Lac County)
At Benson’s Hide-A-Way, little green men are taken seriously. Once a year, UFO enthusiasts gather here for camaraderie, food, drink, lectures by guest experts on the subject, and nightly watching of the skies over Long Lake, where unidentified spacecraft have been spotted on numerous occasions over the years.
Date: July 16, 2011
Location: Benson’s Hide-A-Way (920) 533-8219
www.thelightside.org

6. UFO Days (Elmwood, Pierce County)
Yes, another flying saucer festival! Multiple sightings have occurred in this western Wisconsin community, prompting the self-proclaimed title of “UFO Capital of Wisconsin”. UFO Daze includes a parade, medallion hunt, car & truck show, Miss Elmwood coronation, and much more. You will see some alien-inspired outfits and floats, that’s for sure.
Dates: July 29 – 31, 2011
Location: see Elmwood’s website for locations
www.elmwoodwi.org

7. Lumberjack World Championships (Hayward, Sawyer County)
A proud tradition of logging in the Northwoods is evident in this competition. Lumberjacks and jills arrive from every corner of the world to put their hardiness and grit to the test. Events such as logrolling, speed climbing, crosscut sawing, and block chopping should bring out a cheer.
Dates: July 29 – 31 , 2011
Location: Lumberjack Bowl
www.lumberjackworldchampionships.com

8. Bratwurst Days (Sheboygan, Sheboygan County)
The first Bratwurst Day was in 1953, and since then it has grown to become a major event on Wisconsin’s east coast. Among the many activities are a brat-eating contest, a parade, live music, and exotic delicacies such as brat lasagna, brat jambalaya, brat egg rolls, brat fajitas, and oostburgers (hamburger/brat combo).
Dates: August 4 – 6 , 2011
Location: Kiwanis Park
www.brat-days.com

9. Burger Fest (Seymour, Outagamie County)
Due to its invention here in 1885, Seymour is the “home of the hamburger”. Celebrate this designation with hot air balloons, a burger eating contest, a bun run, a ketchup slide, and the grilling of a 150 lb. Burger, which shall be served to attendees.
Dates: August 5 – 6, 2011
Location: see website for locations
homeofthehamburger.org

10. Wife Carrying Championships (Minocqua, Oneida County)
All you fellas need to do is find a woman who you can physically carry through a race course of sand, water and hurdles to win great prizes based on the woman’s weight. Sound good? There’s also a Wife Ferrying (woman pushed in cart) competition and a Pike (stuffed fish) Carrying Contest for the kids.
Date: August 7, 2011
Location: Minocqua Winter Park
minocquawinterpark.org

11. Rutabaga Fest (Cumberland, Barron County)
Although growing this vegetable is no longer a big money-maker in these parts, the residents celebrate the rutabaga nonetheless. Events include the Rutabaga Run, the Rutabaga Olympics, parade, carnival, and live music.
Dates: August 23 – 29, 2011
Location: see Cumberland’s website for updates
www.cumberland-wisconsin.com

12. Watermelon Festival (Pardeeville, Columbia County)
Not just a celebration of a popular summer treat, this event also is home to the U.S. Watermelon Speed-Eating and Seed-Spitting Championships. You can also partake in the watermelon carving contest.
Date: September 10, 2011
Location: Chandler Park
www.pardeevillewatermelonfestival.com

13. Cow Chip Throw and Festival (Prairie du Sac, Sauk County)
Limber up your throwing wrist in preparation for this remarkable event. Chuck your chip the farthest to gain the prestige you have always dreamed of. The current state record is 248 feet. If you don’t have the ability, participate in the Chip Classic Run/Walk or simply watch the Tournament of Chips parade.
Dates: September 2 – 3, 2011
Location: Marion Park
http://www.wiscowchip.com/

14. SputnikFest (Manitowoc, Manitowoc County)
In 1963, a part of the Russian space probe Sputnik crash landed on a street in the city of Manitowoc. What a perfect reason to have a ‘cosmic cake’ contest…or an ‘alien animal costume’ contest…or a ‘Miss Space Debris’ competition. Manitowoc certainly knows how to have a fun event for the whole family.
Date: Saturday September 10, 2011
Location: check website for locations
www.sputnikfest.com

15. Beef A Rama & The Parade of Roasts (Minocqua, Oneida County)
Minocquans celebrate their love of beef in an interesting way. A roast-cooking competition that incorporates a grand level of presentation. Chefs march their finished product down the street in a parade that may involve costumes for both participant and roast. Not to be missed.
Dates: September 23 – 24, 2011
Location: downtown Minocqua
www.minocqua.org