Sputnik Fest« Back to Events
Manitowoc had 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. A metal ring in the street notes the exact spot of impact. It was still glowing from the heat of re-entry when it landed! 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.
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 8th, with music from the Happy Schnapps Combo, food, refreshments, and the crowning of – yes – MS. SPACE DEBRIS! We love that.
The fun continues all day Saturday, September 9th. 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.
Get more details here from the Manitowoc/Two Rivers Convention & Visitors Bureau!