Sputnik Fest« Back to Events
Manitowoc celebrates Sputnik Fest due to an out-of-this-world experience on September 5, 1962 when a piece of the Soviet satellite Sputnik IV crashed to earth, just north of downtown right in the middle of 8th Street/U.S. 10/Highway 42. It was still glowing from the heat of re-entry when it landed! A brass ring in the street notes the exact spot of impact. The city celebrates Sputnik Fest to commemorate the glowing visitor’s anniversary, where you’ll see some interesting costumes and space-related activities. Basically at Sputnik Fest, science fiction rules the day – even though Sputnik itself was very real. See 5 Things about Sputnikfest in Manitowoc (and why you should go) for more on that.
The landing site is right in front of the Rahr-West Art Museum, which hosts the event and holds a cast from the original piece of the spacecraft – the original was returned to the Russians – that is available for viewing all year.
The festival draws plenty of space fans – with Star Wars and Star Trek characters well-represented – costume contests, music, go-kart racing down 8th Street (there’s a bit of a hill towards the heart of downtown), food, drinks, and even an “alien drop”, where hundreds of mini-alien figures are dropped from a cherry picker – some with prizes. Even the hosting group, the Rahr-West Art Museum, calls it a “wacky tacky” weekend. Music from bands like the Happy Schnapps Combo, playing the night before as well, add to the fun!
Sputnik Fest begins with “Aliens in the Alley” on Friday night September 6th, with music from the Happy Schnapps Combo, food, refreshments, and the crowning of – yes – MS. SPACE DEBRIS! We love that. Judges will include “da Manitowoc Minute” guy dere, Charlie Berens.
The fun continues starting at noon Saturday, September 7th. Events are focused along 8th and Park Streets, just north of downtown Manitowoc. It’s along northbound U.S. 10 and Business Highway 42, just south of Highway 42 itself and just north of U.S. 151.
Sputnik Fest Schedule of events includes:
12:00 pm Bar Opens
12:00 pm Live Music with Double Down (3:30 pm)
1:30 pm Costume Contests
3:30 pm Alien Pet Contest
4:00 pm Sputnik Reenactment
5:00 pm Happy Hour Drink Specials (6:30 pm)
6:00 pm Live Music with The Cougars (10:00 pm)
8:00 pm Ms. Space Debris Pageant with judges Charlie Berens, Mayor Nickels, and Craig Dillon
8:30 pm Alien Drop Raffle
12:00 pm Bounce Houses Open
12:00 pm Magician Daryl Rogers
1:00 pm Story Time with the Manitowoc Public Library
2:00 pm Cool Chemistry with UWGB-Manitowoc Campus
3:00 pm Manty Dance
4:00 pm Marissa’s Martial Arts
5:00 pm Bounce Houses Close
Shoreline Tent (Front Lawn)
12:00 pm Wacky Weekend Workshop Rocket Making (3:00 pm)
4:30 pm Sci-Fi Trivia Contest
12:00 pm LTC Mobile Lab (4:30 pm)
1:00 pm 501st Legion (3:00 pm)
2:30 pm Lightsaber Duels (Indoors)
Get more details here from the Manitowoc/Two Rivers Convention & Visitors Bureau!
Sputnik Fest Address:
Rahr-West Art Museum
610 N. 8th Street (8th & Park, U.S. 10 & Business 42)
Manitowoc, WI 54220