Top 20 Wisconsin USA Events and Festivals
Explore this selection of the Top 20 events and festivals, fairs and celebrations (shown in calendar priority) famous in the state of Wisconsin.
Favorites of the main Wisconsin US events include the Milwaukee Summerfest – one of the main Wisconsin US events, and the
Oshkosh EAA AirVenture – the world's largest and most significant annual aviation event.
Read on for more about the main Wisconsin events and festivals.
World Championship Snowmobile Derby
Eagle River, Wisconsin
One of the main Wisconsin US events, this annual event in northern Wisconsin is the most recognized professional snowmobile race and one of the largest gatherings of "sledders" in the world. More than 300 professional snowmobile racers, some from as far away as Japan, will compete for the world championship and prizes. In addition to the high-speed races, the expected 30,000 spectators can enjoy trail rides and the beautiful scenery of the Northwoods.
For a site explaining the World Championship Snowmobile Derby at Eagle River explore:
The Big Chill
Formerly known as the Flake Out Festival, The Big Chill is the Badger State’s annual State Snow Sculpting Competition that has been going strong for almost a quarter of a century. Wisconsin’s best two-person snow sculpting teams compete for cash prizes as well as the title of Wisconsin snow sculpting champion. Some 16 snow sculpting teams compete for the state title over almost two full days. Other attractions of this event include an ice-carving demonstration, horse-drawn sleigh rides, pony rides, children's entertainment, arts & crafts fair, fireworks, music and food.
For more information about The Big Chill in Racine visit:
La Crosse Mardi Gras
mid to late January
La Crosse, Wisconsin
Another family-oriented celebration uniting the families of La Crosse, the La Crosse Mardi Gras and surrounding communities included all the usual trapping in fun, food, and fellowship for a good cause. Since 1991, Mardi Gras in La Crosse has helped raise money for a host of Catholic schools, boy scouts, girl scouts, and the YMCA.
Looking for information regarding the La Crosse Mardi Gras in Wisconsin explore:
One of the top 20 Wisconsin USA events, the American Birkebeiner is the nation's largest and most prestigious cross-country ski marathon – approximately 51 kilometers from Cable to Hayward – that draws thousands of cross-country skiers from all over the world. Shorter courses include the 23-kilometer Kortelopet, and the 12-kilometer Prince Haakon as well as other events for experienced and novice skiers. Other events featured include the Birkie Trail Run, Relay & Trek, and the Jr Birkie, a competitive race for 10-15 year olds.
For more information about the American Birkebeiner visit:
or visit: http://www.birkie.com
St Patricks Day Parade
A popular event for more than 45 years, and recognized as one of the best such events in the USA, the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown Milwaukee in the Badger State attracts more than 100,000 enthusiasts to admire the elaborate floats, marching bands, bagpipers, and even clowns.
For more information about the St Patricks Day Parade in Milwaukee visit:
One of the premier country music festivals in the USA, the Country USA event in Oshkosh offers five days of non-stop, world-class entertainment featuring country music's biggest and hottest headliners, as well as offering a wide range of quality foods and tempting shopping possibilities. A popular part of the show is the easy-to-access campground located on the site.
For more information about Country USA in Oshkosh visit:
late June - early July
Summerfest, one of the main Wisconsin US events, the World's Largest Music Festival, is Milwaukee's cornerstone summer celebration, hosting an average of 900,000 patrons annually on the beautiful shore of Lake Michigan at Henry Maier Festival Park. For 11 days each year, Summerfest attracts the music industry's hottest stars, emerging talent and local favorites to its 11 permanent stage areas, including the 23,000 capacity Marcus Amphitheater, which hosts big name talent each night of Summerfest and throughout the summer and fall concert season. Summerfest is also home to nearly 50 diverse food & beverage vendors, offering a variety of local and ethnic fare, as well as four unique marketplaces and interactive exhibits for the whole family.
For more information about Summerfest in Milwaukee take a look at:
or visit : http://www.summerfest.com
Romance, nostalgia, and rich Italian delicacies fill the air at Festa Italiana, America's premier Italian cultural event. Festa Italiana takes place at Henry W. Maier Festival Park on Milwaukee’s lakefront. Through the dedication of more than 2,000 volunteers, the annual Festa Italiana has become a favorite family event with many attractions, exciting entertainment, delicious food, Italian history and family-filled events.
For more information about Festa Italiana visit:
Among the many ethnic festivals that run all summer long in Milwaukee in its 75-acre festival park along Lake Michigan is the German Fest, the largest German celebration in North America. (It joins Irish Fest, Polish Fest and Festa Italiana – all in Milwaukee – as the largest festivals of their kind in the country.) Highlights of German Fest, recognized as one of the top 20 Wisconsin USA events and festivals is traditional culture, cuisine and music with bands and entertainers brought over from Germany each year. German Fest is fun for kids of all ages and tastebuds are thrilled with many favorite German foods.
For more information about the German Fest visit:
Lumberjack World Championships
Professional male and female lumberjacks and logrollers from around the world compete for one of the largest purses in lumberjack competition. More than 12,000 spectators over the three-day event watch as participants compete in speed sawing, speed climbing, log rolling, and chopping events. Saw-carving demonstrations and displays add to the fun. Spectators can try their hand at being a lumberjack with several interactive opportunities like pole-climbing and logrolling.
For more information about the Lumberjack World Championships in Hayward visit:
Oshkosh EAA AirVenture
late July - early August
Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh is the home of the world's largest and most significant annual aviation event. More than 10,000 planes of every size, shape and description - home-built, antique and aerobatics planes, plus military and general aviation aircraft from all over the world - are on display along the site's flight line. Visitors can attend any of the more than 500 forums, workshops and seminars offered throughout the event. They also can inspect the planes close-up and watch daily formation and aerobatic flying exhibitions performed by an international crew of expert aerobatics pilots.
For more information about the EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh visit:
or visit: : http://www.airventure.org
Wisconsin State Fair
West Allis, Wisconsin
Essentially an agriculture fair typical of the American heartland, the Wisconsin State Fair showcases contests for the best in various animal breeds, grown vegetables and several farmhouse kitchen skills from making berry jams to creating the best maple syrup, as well as offering a wealth of fun activities, from new rides and games, arm-wrestling championships, tractor pulls, pig races and shows including everything from competing marching bands and all sorts of nightly live entertainment.
For more information about the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis visit:
Set to promote and share the culture and heritage of those of African descent, the African World Festival is both an entertaining and educational event held on the shores of Lake Michigan at Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee. Highlights of the event include a cultural village, a chance to enjoy a variety of appropriate ethnic food, market place, a specially made Children’s Village and great entertainment.
For more information about the African World Festival in Milwaukee visit:
Celebrate the legend, as the largest Irish music and cultural gathering in the world celebrates with an eclectic concert of more than 100 entertainers on sixteen stages scattered along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Musicians ranging from tenors and fiddlers to rockers and rhymers, as well as dancers, athletes, artisans, poets and thespians, offer live shows and hands-on instruction. Delight children of all ages with parades, freckle contests, Celtic Canines, storytellers, crafts and genealogy tools. Shop two different marketplaces for jewelry, baskets, knits, art and other treasures.
For more information about the Irish Fest in Milwaukee take a look at:
or visit: http://www.irishfest.com
Mexican Fiesta International Expo
Mexican Fiesta brings you the sounds, culture and taste of Mexico to Milwaukee's lakefront. Three days of fun, food, Mariachi and Fiesta for everyone. Highlights include the Cultural Village, where the past and the present come alive with more than 40 artisans representing different states of Mexico, fresh baked bread by Carlos Roldan from the state of Hidalgo, a wealth of Mexican influenced artwork form local and national artists on display, and more than 300 live performances ... and much more!
For more information about the Mexican Fiesta International Expo visit:
Indian Summer Festival
America's largest American Indian cultural festival showcases the colorful diversity of both traditional and contemporary Native American culture. Festival highlights include dancers from across the Americas, music, cultural artisans, fine arts and crafts, lacrosse, authentic tribal villages and traditional foods.
For more information about the Indian Summer Festival visit:
Apostle Island Lighthouse Celebration
early to mid September
A popular event for more than 18 years, the Apostle Islands Lighthouse Celebration lauds the lighthouses that have guarded the waters of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands for over a century. Highlights of this event include cruises to Raspberry, Sand, Devils, Michigan and Outer Island to tour and/or explore the lighthouse grounds, a shipwreck & lighthouses cruise, and the popular, non-stop Ultimate Lighthouse Cruise to view five of the eight lighthouses.
For more information about the Apostle Island Lighthouse Celebration in Bayfield visit:http://www.lighthousecelebration.com
Flooded cranberry marshes filled with a sea of bright crimson cranberries herald in the harvest as the “Cranberry Capital of Wisconsin” celebrates the tart fruit. Cranberry delights of every type imaginable are available to tickle the taste buds. Travelers can take a tour of the marshes Friday and Saturday; or enjoy the sights and sounds of the arts and crafts fair, cranberry parade and live entertainment.
For more information about the Cranberry Festival visit:
late September - early October
La Crosse, Wisconsin
One of the Badger State’s largest autumn festivals for more than 50 years, attracting 150,000 people annually, Oktoberfest here is an authentic Old-World folk celebration steeped in German tradition. Held along the shores of the Mississippi River, this fall festival transports visitors’ spirits to Bavaria with music, entertainment, arts and crafts, ethnic food, carnival rides, Maple Leaf and Torchlight parades, the Festmaster Ball and the Miss La Crosse/Oktoberfest pageant.
For more information about the Oktoberfest in La Crosse visit:
A festival featuring more than 60 orchard and food booths with traditional festival foods, as well as apple desserts is fun for all ages. More than 150 artists and crafters, and a grand parade with a mass Band of over 600 musicians playing “On Wisconsin” will entertain. Visitors enjoy ongoing stage entertainment from Big Top Chautauqua, a traditional fish boil, carnival rides and games, and an evening dance in the historic Pavilion on the waterfront. Other attractions include orchard visits (free shuttle), apple pie and peeling contests, an evening boat parade, and the Apple Dumpling Gang prize drawing.
For more information about the Apple Festival in Bayfield visit:
Holiday Lights Festival
mid November – end December
Zeidler Union Square – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Featuring more than 500,000 lights, wreaths and animated, twinkling and flashing sculptures, as well as supporting programs of performing and visual arts to suit all ages and tastes, the Holiday Lights Festival on Cathedral Square Park, Pere Marquette Park and Zeidler Union Square in downtown Milwaukee celebrates the Christmas season like nowhere else in Wisconsin.
For more information about the Holiday Lights Festival in Milwaukee visit:
updated Top 20 Events USA pages do not include every single event on offer in each state or city in America – only those recognized as one of the top 20 in each location, elected by residents, tourists and visitors, the team of travel writers working for Top Events USA, and some officials of the relevant states and cities of the USA too.