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10 unique food festivals in Wisconsin
This article originally appeared on TravelWisconsin.com.
When we think of Wisconsin, oftentimes cheese comes to mind. And while cheese is a staple in this state, Wisconsin finds plenty of other foods to dedicate weekend-long celebrations to. From classic to quirky, here are a few of Wisconsin’s unique food festivals.
1. Bacon Bash, River Falls
A festival celebrating all. things. bacon. Sign me up. The two-day event offers pig-themed activities (like pig races and pig calling), live music, local beer, various artists, and delicious dishes, such as pig wings, bacon cheesecake, bacon cream cheese wontons, and bacon mac n’ cheese.
2. Johnsonville Brat Days, Sheboygan
Everyone knows Sheboygan is the Bratwurst Capital of the World, so it’s only appropriate that the Lake Michigan city hosts an annual event dedicated to the culinary legend we know as the brat. Sample it in many ways, including a brat taco, brat pizza, brat egg rolls, brat jambalaya and corndog brats. Take in live music, a parade, a petting zoo, and the famous Brat Trot run.
3. ChocolateFest, Burlington
Burlington is known as Chocolate City, USA (the city itself has even been known to smell like chocolate), so where else would you find a festival dedicated to chocolate? Enjoy an entire weekend of fun and games, rides, cooking demonstrations, and plenty of chocolate. As an added bonus, Burlington breaks up the winter months with Hot ChocolateFest, which features a Hot Chocolate contest with area businesses.
4. Maple Fest, Lake Geneva
Who doesn’t love a good pancake drizzled in maple syrup? There’s a festival for that, too! Enjoy Maple Fest’s all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast and art fair, tour on-site maple syrup production, and learn everything there is to know about maple syrup!
5. Milwaukee Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival, Waukesha
Both food trucks and craft beer are all the rage these days, and for good reason. This festival features food trucks (surprise!) with a wide variety of food, including crepes, cupcakes, BBQ, sushi, custard, and so much more. Craft beers offered include Lakefront Brewery, Lake Louie Brewing, Cider Boys and Port Huron Brewing Company.
6. Rhubarb Days, Osceola
Rhubarb is a summer highlight in the backyards of many Wisconsin homes. Rhubarb Days in this Northwest Wisconsin city celebrates the vegetable (yes, technically a vegetable) with homemade rhubarb goodies and a rhubarb baking competition, plus live music, crafts, and movies under the stars!
7. Warrens Cranberry Festival, Warrens
This is the world’s largest cranberry festival, and it’s kind of a big deal. Warrens is in the heart of cranberry country (did you know Wisconsin harvests more than 60 percent of the country’s cranberries?), and the festival draws in more than 120,000 visitors each year. You’ll find everything from cranberry marsh tours to cranberry cream puffs, plus plenty of shopping!
8. Butterfest, Sparta
Not to be outdone by the state’s many cheese festivals, Sparta has dedicated an entire festival to another wonderful dairy product: butter! At the event, you’ll find a softball tournament, live music, pancake breakfast, crafts, and the iconic Butterfest Cow Milking Contest.
9. Sweet Corn Festival, Sun Prairie
Sun Prairie knows that fresh sweet corn is something to look forward to each and every summer, and this August festival is home to steamed sweet corn, a beer tent, carnival, live music, mini golf, helicopter rides, bingo and bean bag tournaments.
10. Bayfield Apple Festival, Bayfield
Celebrating the area’s agricultural heritage and autumn harvest, this fall festival was named one of the 10 Best Fall Harvest Festivals in the nation by USA Today. The Lake Superior town celebrates the season with orchard and winery tours, fine arts and crafts, local foods, live music, and an apple peeling contest.
No matter your location or your favorite food, there is a foodie festival for everyone! What are you most looking forward to at your favorite food festival? Share with us on social media using #discoverwisconsin.
Kristen Finstad is a member of the Discover Wisconsin crew. Growing up in River Falls, attending UW-Stevens Point and now living in Madison, she’s a Wisconsin girl through and through. She enjoys nothing more than catching a Packers, Brewers or Badgers game, indulging in a cheese curd or 12, and traveling from corner to corner of this great state.