Wisconsin weekend: Irish luck, Blues & Jazz Fests, Wake Sports, Fairs and more!
It’s prime time to road trip around Wisconsin and explore. Ride the state highways and byways and enjoy some great sights, roadside attractions, events, vistas, and more. Here are some State Trunk Tour recommended Wisconsin Weekend highlights!
The luck o’ the Irish rises to greet you along Milwaukee’s lakefront at the largest Irish festival in the United States. Gaelic Storm kicks it off Thursday night (with more shows Friday and Saturday nights) and an amazing array of musical artists in Irish and Celtic music fill several stages. Other Irish Fest activities include a Baking Contest, Photo and Poetry Contests, and “Red Hair & Freckles” Contest, a “Celtic Canines” exhibit, the Jameson Lounge (for whiskey tastings), a Marketplace filled with Irish crafts and other items from over 90 vendors, a Cultural Village, and much more.
Held on Fern Island Park along the Wisconsin River, Big Bull Falls is the oldest continues blues festival in Wisconsin. Performers this year include Mr. Sipp, Reverend Raven, Toronzo Cannon, Samantha Fish, and Tab Benoit! I-39 U.S. 51, and Highways 29 and 52 bring you there.
HarborPark Jazz, Rhythm & Blues Festival is one of Kenosha’s favorite music events and returns this year with a powerful mix of New Orleans style Jazz, straight ahead Jazz and true hometown Chicago Style Blues. Saturday’s event features a full lineup of fantastic musicians, including Natty Nation, Terry James and the Blue Flames, CNJ Latin Jazz Quintet, and headliner Euge Groove! Find out more here. Highways 32, 50, and 158 bring you to Kenosha’s beautiful HarborPark district, right next to downtown along Lake Michigan.
Check out the continuing action in Janesville’s Traxler Park through Saturday as the United States Hydrofoil Association, Rock Aqua Jays, and Water Skiers with Disabilities Association bring the US Wake Sports Festival and the 2017 USHA Nationals to the Janesville! Riders from novice to pro participate with world class competition. There’s also adaptive water skiing clinics (disabled water ski instruction), the US National Championship for hydrofoils and a freestyle jump tournament. The Rock Aqua Jays Stadium offers bleacher seating for over 2,800, plus room for over 1,500 outside the grandstands and concessions will be available. I-39/90, U.S. 14 and 51, and Highways 11 and 26 bring you to Janesville.
The Oconto County Fair continues in Gillett, which bills itself as the “ATV Capital of the World”, so drive a State Trunk Tour route or take an ATV trail to this fun and family-friendly fair in Zippel Park. Highlights will include a Youth-Decorated Cake Auction, Human Foosball, Tractor, Truck, and Draft Horse Pulls, the Fairest of the Fair Competition, and the Ultimate Grilled Cheese Contest! Of course, being a county fair, you’ll see plenty of animals from area farms including goats, poultry, rabbits, swine, sheep, beef, and much more. Highways 22 and 32 bring you to Gillett.
There are MANY more events to check out. Run around during your Wisconsin weekend, enjoy our beautiful summer season, explore history, enjoy parks, experience shops, trails, bars, and restaurants, and have FUN! In true State Trunk Tour fashion, Pick Some Roads and GO!!!