Wisconsin Weekend: Fish, Fairs, Lumberjacks, Balloons, Planes, and more summer fun!
Our mid-July Wisconsin Weekend features SO much to do around the state! While Country Thunder booms over Twin Lakes, military jets and huge ships boom over Lake Michigan at Milwaukee; check out Salmon-A-Rama in Racine for competition, or enjoy the World’s Largest One-Day Outdoor Fish Fry in Port Washington; check out lumberjacks and lumberjill competing for world records and prizes in Hayward, or future stars of NASCAR in wheel-to-wheel action at Road America; the options are many as you road trip. Explore some great roads, towns, parks, and more – and take it a few fun activities while you’re at it. There’s always a LOT to do during your Wisconsin weekend. Here are some State Trunk Tour event picks as you explore… Pick Some Roads and GO!!:
Port Fish Day features “The World’s Largest One-Day Outdoor Fish Fry.” What more needs to be said? Okay, along with the fish fry, we’re talking lots of fun: music on four stages, rides, an Art Design Contest, a run/walk, fireworks, helicopter tours, and plenty more along Port Washington’s beautiful harbor on Lake Michigan. Of course, enjoy a ton of great fried fish and chips. Admission to the grounds is free and you can enjoy additional music entertainment from the likes of Ethan Keller, Road Crew, Keith Anderson, The Rush Tribute Project, Joe 2.0, Blue Light Scene, and more. Check out the Family Zone in Upper Lake Park for family-friendly fun – and that’s where the Fish Eating Contest happens at 2:30pm! Fish Day runs all day and evening Saturday. Highways 32 and 33 bring you in from I-43!
The skies above Waterford will be colorful this weekend, with the 8th annual Waterford Balloonfest taking place. Balloon races, the classic evening “balloon glows,” and new this year, the U.S. Women’s National Balloon Championships! Balloonist flight competitions highlight these pilots’ amazing flying skills… which is tricky in a balloon! (Trust us, we’ve been in one.) It’s not just hot air, either: craft vendors, local food stands, a kids’ area with games, activities, and entertainment, a 5K run/walk, helicopter rides, and much more all await in this city along the Fox River in western Racine County. Highways 20, 36, and 83 all bring you there!
Milwaukee: Festa Italiana and the Milwaukee Air & Water Show
It’s a busy Wisconsin Weekend in Milwaukee. The Summerfest Grounds are back at it on Milwaukee’s lakefront, with Festa Italiana running all weekend. Fantastic Italian food, wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, plenty of great music, activities, a kids’ carnival area, and even your chance to win “Italian Idol”! I-43/94, I-794, and Highways 32, 38, 59, and 145 all bring you close. Abbondanza!
Meanwhile, the skies will roar with military jets at the U.S. Thunderbirds, F-15 Strike Fighters, and more will perform overhead while and boats and ships of all kinds will show what they can do in Lake Michigan, all up and down the lakefront at the annual Milwaukee Air & Water Show. You can watch from Bradford Beach and many other areas along Milwaukee’s lakefront for free. Ticketed areas offer the closest proximity, the best views, hosted narration, the best access to concessions, and great seating. This is definitely a benchmark summer event in Milwaukee!
Racine’s annual Salmon-A-Rama continues through this weekend. It’s a popular tournament open to all anglers on Lake Michigan, with entertainment for the whole family! Now one of the largest freshwater salmon and trout tournaments in the world, it’s also a festival featuring bands, raffles, a bags tournament, pig roast, smelt fry, fish boil, kids entertainment and so much more. It’s been underway since this past Saturday and continues through this Sunday.
Hayward hosts the 59th annual Lumberjack World Championships now through Saturday! Over 21 events will offer international competition, showcasing sawing, chopping, speed climbing, log rolling, boom-running, and more as over 100 lumberjacks and lumberjills vie for more than $50,000 in prize money, making this one of the largest paybacks for lumberjack competition in the world – and of course, world records in these events could be set – they often have! U.S. 63 and Highways 27 and 77 bring you to Hayward.
The John Michael Kohler Arts Center celebrates the Midsummer Festival of the Arts Saturday and Sunday, where more than 135 artists descend on downtown Sheboygan for a weekend of exhibitions, all set amidst gardens surrounding the world-class Arts Center with its light-filled spaces, 12 galleries, and ARTcafe. Check out jewelry, ceramics, glass, sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, leather, sculpture, art glass, wearable art, hands-on workshops for the whole family, and face painting for the kids (I think it’s just for kids, heck, doesn’t hurt to ask if you’re a grown-up and want your face painted, too.) The food court offers the Culinary Art Car and other food trucks and you can enjoy “finger-snappin’, toe-tappin’” free concerts from the Levitt AMP Sheboygan Music Series. Highways 23, 28, and 42 bring you towards downtown Sheboygan from I-43.
More for your Wisconsin Weekend
There are MANY more events to check out. Run around during your Wisconsin weekend, including the Waukesha County Fair (I-94, U.S. 18, Highways 16, 59), Country Thunder, Bristol Renaissance Faire, and more. Explore history, enjoy parks, experience shops, bars, and restaurants, and have FUN! In true State Trunk Tour fashion, Pick Some Roads and GO!!!