Your Wisconsin Weekend: Fairs, Folk, Fiestas, Racing, Brews, Dragon Boats, Pines, and plenty of fun!

A busy August weekend beckons across Wisconsin with festivals and events all over. The “Hub City” of Marshfield hosts the Central Wisconsin State Fair right now; county fairs will be happening in Burnett, Crawford, Florence, Manitowoc, Marinette, Price, Sawyer Counties and more. Mexican Fiesta takes place along Milwaukee’s lakefront, the Great River Folk Festival will play in La Crosse along the Mississippi. The options are many. Enjoy your Wisconsin Weekend and get ready to “Pick Some Roads and GO!!”

Marshfield: Central Wisconsin State Fair

Central Wisconsin State Fair, Marshfield

One of three “State Fairs” in Wisconsin, the Central Wisconsin State Fair is underway in Marshfield and runs through Sunday! Check out the “World’s Largest Round Barn” and the Round Barn Express Train, new rides and games, headliners including The Kentucky Headhunters and Smashmouth, the All Star Monster Truck Show, Demolition Derby, 4-H and open class exhibits, the “Kiss a Critter” Contest, the Dress-A-Cow Contest, food and beer gardens, and more! U.S. 10 and Highways 13, 80, and 97 all hit the “Hub City” of Marshfield! More…

Elkhart Lake: NASCAR Xfinity Series Weekend at Road America

Road America NASCAR XFINITY. Photo credit: Les Tension Photography

The NASCAR XFINITY Series Weekend will feature incredible wheel-to-wheel and door-to-door racing from the NASCAR XFINITY Series, Stadium Super Truck Series, and SCCA Pro Trans Am Series. Check out some of NASCAR’s future stars as they test their skills on the storied 4-mile, 14-turn road circuit. Road America has a legendary history of featuring brilliant racers on a challenging circuit that easily separates the good from the great drivers. The Stadium SUPER Truck races presented by Menards will feature four 36-inch tall aluminum ramps placed in strategic locations on the racecourse, allowing the trucks to fly 20 feet off the ground and hundreds of feet down the racecourse! Matt Kenseth is Grand Marshal of the Sunday events, too. You’ll find Road America along Highway 67 just north of Highway 23 and Plymouth and just west of Highway 57 in Sheboygan County. More…

Milwaukee: Mexican Fiesta

Mexican Fiesta, Milwaukee

Milwaukee’s annual Mexican Fiesta brings the sound, culture, and taste of México to Milwaukee’s lakefront Friday through Sunday, right on the Summerfest grounds. The Cultural Pavilion will display an extraordinary show and exhibition of the Mexican arts & crafts from more than 150 artisans coming directly from different states of México, plus fresh and traditional food, a car show, and a huge lineup of musical entertainment! Click through to get the full lineup. It’s all happening (literally) under I-794, right where U.S. 18 ends near Highways 32, 38, and 59. I-43/94 provides easy access, too. More…

La Crosse: Great River Folk Festival

Great River Folk Festival, La Crosse

The 44th annual Great River Folk Festival is a family-friendly weekend features outdoor contemporary and traditional folk music right in La Crosse’s Riverside Park. Along with the music, you can enjoy demonstrations of traditional crafts and plenty of craft items for sale from artists across the spectrum, ethnic food and children’s activities. Check out the full music schedule by clicking through. Riverside Park is a beautiful space along the Mississippi River on the west edge of downtown La Crosse, with plenty of other activities nearby from brewery tours to boat rides on the Mississippi. U.S. 14, 53, and 61, as well as Highways 16, 33, 35, and I-90 all bring you to La Crosse! More…

Superior: Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival

Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival
Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon boat racing is not only one of the fastest growing water sports in the world; it is also one of the most exciting! As one of the largest festivals of its kind, The Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival in Superior holds this community-building tradition Friday and Saturday this weekend. Watch the races at Barker’s Island, feast on fantastic food, enjoy celebratory music, song and dance, shop the craft fair, and commemorate the weekend with a time-honored awards ceremony. Fireworks will light the sky that night, too! You’ll find the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival in Superior just off U.S. 2/53 (2nd Street) close to Highways 13, 35, and I-535. More…

West Bend: GERMANfest

West Bend GERMANfest

Check out the 33rd Annual West Bend GERMANfest! This celebration of German Heritage and Gemütlichkeit takes place Thursday through Sunday. GERMANfest is an outdoor festival featuring two stages of continuous ethnic and other music, authentic German food and dancing, Sheepshead tournaments, Kinderzone, fine selection of beer and wine, souvenirs, daily raffles, and more. West Bend Germanfest is easy to find, located centrally on the corners of Walnut and Main Street in the heart of downtown West Bend, blocks from Highways 33 and 144 and just a few miles east of the U.S. 45 bypass of the city. Check out Riverside Brewery while you’re there!! More…

Eau Claire: Festival in the Pines

Wisconsin Weekend: Eau Claire Festival in the Pines

The 37th annual Festival in the Pines takes place in Eau Claire’s beautiful Carson Park Saturday and Sunday. Festival in the Pines has traditionally been a place to gather with friends and family to enjoy fun, food and shopping! With over 200 vendors, there is something for everyone. Two stages feature live music, family entertainment, plus games and rides for the kids. New features include Home Improvement Area, and Antique Area. “Festival of Wines in the Pines” is an additional event within Festival in the Pines, and it returns to Carson Park on Saturday from 11am to 5pm. Your $15 entry fee includes four wine samples and free entry to Festival in the Pines on Sunday to stock your wine cellar. Carson Park is a large, absolutely beautiful park along the Chippewa River in Eau Claire, just west and south of the city’s downtown and UW-Eau Claire campus. You can reach Eau Claire via I-94, U.S. 12, U.S. 53, and Highways 37, 93, and 124. More…

Green Bay: Artstreet

Artstreet in Green Bay

Artstreet showcases over 200 artists from throughout the country across blocks of downtown Green Bay. Take in music, dance, theatrical and literary performances on stage and in the streets. View artists demonstrating their work during the creative process. Savor an array of specialty foods, enjoy cultural displays, children’s art activities, and more. Throughout the downtown area, you can also check out Titletown Brewery, Copper State Brewing Company, the Neville Public Museum, The Cannery, and everything up and down the Fox River as it heads north through the city. Since the team will have had its pre-season game already in Winnipeg, a tour of Lambeau Field nearby and exploring the new Titletown District can make the trip complete without a game day crowd around. More…

Cumberland: Rutabaga Festival

Cumberland Rutabaga Festival

Let’s face it: the Rutabaga doesn’t get enough recognition. Cumberland rectifies that with their annual Rutabaga Festival Thursday through Sunday. Happening since 1932, Cumberland’s Rutabaga Festival includes live entertainment, a pedal tractor pull, pepper-eating contest, basketball shootout, craft show, morning bike tour, a grand parade… and rutabagas. (Which we think are what makes a pasty so much better!) Come enjoy the Cumberland Rutabaga Festival Run on Saturday morning! Choose from a half marathon, 5K run, or 2 mile fun run/walk. All races start at 8 am at the Cumberland High School. You can also just watch if you prefer and cheer everyone on. You’ll find Cumberland – aka “The Island City” – along U.S. 63 and Highway 48 in northwestern Barron County. Check out the amazing selection at Louie’s Finer Meats in town while you’re there! It’s a State Trunk Tour favorite. More…

Mineral Point: (1st ever) Blues & Roots Fest

Mineral Point Blues & Roots Festival

The Mineral Point Historical Society presents the first annual Mineral Point Blues & Roots Festival, supporting our unique Mineral Point history and Mineral Point Music Boosters through a fun event filled with local and regional musicians. Grab a beer, wine, hard cider, soda, or some food and check out the lineup, which features The Jimmys, Omar Coleman, Katherine Davis Blues Band, Chicago Bound with Willie Buck, Jimi “Primetime” Smith Trio, Rick Harris with Steve Brown, and Boo Mullarky. Tickets are $20, in advance online or at the event. Mineral Point is a beautiful, historic city that’s easily accessible via U.S. 151, Highway 23, or Highway 39. More…

Potosi: Annual Potosi Brewfest

Potosi Brewfest stein holding competition
The Stein Holding Competition. It’s more exciting than it looks.

The annual Potosi Brewfest takes place in “Beer’s Hometown” on Saturday from 1-5pm. The Brewfest includes samples from more than 60 vendors of craft beer, wine, specialty meat & cheeses – and of course, the local Potosi beers! Try your hand at the Beer Stein Holding contest or enjoy music along with all those craft beers, wines, meats and cheese – all in the beautiful setting of the Holiday Gardens across from the historic Potosi Brewery. Check out the National Brewery Museum while you’re there and enjoy a trip down Highway 133 on the way to or fro! Highway 35 & U.S. 61 are close by for easy access. Hold that stein! More…

Check out the latest State Trunk Tour Podcasts on the Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail and the Blues history in Ozaukee County!
State Trunk Tour founder Eric Paulsen got to talk with Jason Ring of the Manitowoc CVB about the new Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail that offers pathways for exploring everything from farms and cheese factories to breweries, bakeries, wineries, and distilleries in and around the Manitowoc and Two Rivers area, as well as with Kris Raymond of the Paramount Music Association, about the amazing and little-known history of early Blues and Jazz records being made in Grafton and Port Washington – recordings that helped shape music ever since. Check them both out below:

More for your Wisconsin Weekend

There are MANY more events to check out on this Wisconsin Weekend. Explore history, enjoy parks, experience shops, bars, and restaurants, and have FUN! In true State Trunk Tour fashion, Pick Some Roads and GO!!!

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The State Trunk Tour Logo for Wisconsin highways and great trips

Wisconsin highways, road trips, attractions, quirks… just what IS the State Trunk Tour?

The State Trunk Tour is all about Wisconsin highways, drives, road trips and celebrating the fun of the Badger State by selecting state highways and riding them end to end, reporting everything along the way.

Wisconsin’s state highways – the first system of numbered highways in the world (first done in 1917 – which means 2017 marked its 100th anniversary!) – connect all sorts of points of interest, attractions, cities, towns, recreation trails, scenic byways, lakes, rivers, bridges, historical sites, geographic markers, taverns, antique shops… you get the idea.

Hear our discussion about State Trunk Tour on Wisconsin Public Radio from January and March below!

Wisconsin truly is one of the most fun and unique states in the country. We’re in the smack dab in the middle of the northern and western hemispheres. We have plenty of “world’s largest” entries: the musky, the corkscrew, a talking cow, an indoor water park, a six-pack, and a can of chili are just some of them. Wisconsin also claims a number of “world’s firsts” and inventions including the snowmobile, malted milk, the hamburger, hydroelectric power, outboard motor, rail-to-trail, and a bunch more.

We have two Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, and beautiful drives along all of them. Dynamic cities like Milwaukee and Madison offer incredible options for things to do. Vacation hot spots like Wisconsin Dells, Lake Geneva, Door County, Minocqua, Eagle River, and Hayward draw people from all over the country. Quaint, relaxing towns like Ephraim, Shullsburg, Hudson, Bayfield, Princeton, Green Lake, Oconomowoc and more offer great boutique shopping and plenty of charm.

Follow one of our Wisconsin highways end-to-end – or in sections – and enjoy everything along the way. Sample Featured Routes below or pick your own from the State Trunk Tours menu. We’ll help guide you, provide fun history, insight, and trivia, and welcome your feedback and additions as we continue to build our web and mobile sites. We’re on a new platform, adding and updating more routes, attractions, photos, points of interest and more constantly, so check back often. Updates will be sent out via Facebook and Twitter, of course!

HIghway 19 in northern Dane County

"'Trek' Between Mazo and Watertown"

State “Trunk” Highway 19 skims the northern side of Madison's metro area and connects to Watertown. Before 1926, Highway 19 once continued all the way west to Prairie du Chien and before 1947, all the way east to downtown Milwaukee. Today, Highway 19 serves as a key connector, part of which could serve as Madison's north beltine sometime in the not-too-distant future. You travel through the only Waunakee in the world, check out the sun and the prairies around Sun Prairie, hit the HQ of TREK bikes, and more....

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"Coast to Coast covering Circuses, Canoes, and Coulees (and more)"

State “Trunk” Highway 33 is a "coast-to-coast" state highway, connecting La Crosse on the Mississippi with Port Washington's scenic harbor on Lake Michigan. From the big blue waters of the Great Lake to the beautiful coulees framing La Crosse, you encounter hairpin turns in what seems like a mountain range, Baraboo's famous Circus Museum, ski slopes of Cascade Mountain, the natural wetlands of Horicon Marsh, and some of the best canoeing in the nation along the Kickapoo. It's a great cross-section of southern Wisconsin....

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Mt. Morris Mill sign

"Highway 152: Seven Miles from the Christmas Tree Capital of the World to Mount Morris' Nordic Mountain"

Wisconsin Highway 152 is a brief State Trunk Tour route that runs from Wautoma (which bills itself as the "Christmas Tree Capital of the World" to the tiny town of Mount Morris, which hosts camps, forests, and the Nordic Mountain Ski Area. On this brief connector route you can enjoy some nice scenery, a 19th century dam and mill, and some nice topography amidst this glaciated area of central Wisconsin....

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Highway 27 between Rising Sun and Fairview

"Whipping up and down Western Wisconsin"

State “Trunk” Highway 27 runs for almost 300 miles, from the wilderness of Brule River State Forest fifteen miles from the Lake Superior shore, through a slew of rural towns, up, down and around western Wisconsin's rugged landscape, all the way to the banks of the Mississippi River in Prairie du Chien blocks short of the Iowa border. Scenery, serenity and small-town charm abound on this route from top to bottom....

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Real Racine Events Guide 2019
Visit Port Washington
Visit Marshfield via State Trunk Tour
GO Chippewa Falls