March 22, 2019 – March 31, 2019
The 95th annual REALTORS Home & Garden Show is the nation’s longest running Home & Garden Show. It returns to the Wisconsin State Fair Park Expo Center from Friday, March 22nd through Sunday, March 31st, with the exception of Monday-Tuesday, March 25th-26th.
Sweep aside your outdated and overgrown home and garden spaces and get inspired at this year’s REALTORS® Home & Garden Show presented by Unilock®. There’s no better place to learn about all the hottest home improvement tips and trends.
If you’re looking for inspiration, stop by the show to visit with any of 350+ exhibitors. Learn about the latest available products and chat with industry professionals regarding landscaping, windows, decks, kitchen and bath design, plumbing or HVAC needs, foundation repair, tree services, and much more.
And don’t forget to take advantage of one of the show’s many culinary demos or daily seminars provided at the Solutions Stage at Breckenridge Landscape Park.
Finally, a visit to the REALTORS Home & Garden Show would not be complete without a tour of the stunning Garden Promenade, presented by the Wisconsin Landscape Contractors Association. Always a clear reminder that spring is just around the corner, the showcase features 12 elaborately designed landscape displays. Designed by the area’s top landscapers, each garden combines plantings, water features and hardscapes with creature comforts like outdoor kitchens, sound systems and fire pits to create a haven for relaxing or entertaining.
With so much to see and do at this year’s show, there certainly is no space like home.
Admission is $8.00; Children 12 & under are FREE, as are all Active Military personnel with valid ID.
Check the Realtors Home & Garden Show website for full details on vendors, events, and more.
You’ll find the Wisconsin State Fair Exposition Center at the corner of Highway 59/Greenfield Avenue and Highway 181/84th Street, just south of I-94 and U.S. 18, two miles east of I-41/U.S. 45, three miles east of Highway 100, two miles west of Highway 175/Miller Park Way, and three miles west of Highway 57.
March 25, 2019
The lovely and fun city of Chippewa Falls turns 150 this year, and its Chippewa Falls Sesquicentennial Celebration Kickoff is Monday, March 25th!
Okay, sesquicentennial (pronounced “sĕsˌkwĭ-sĕn-tĕnˈē-əl”) is a tricky word. But the events around it for the year will be fun! This first Chippewa Falls Sesquicentennial event to celebrate the city’s incorporation in 1869 is a musical.
You can experience it at the Heyde Center for the Arts and take a step back in time as the Wayward Players, dressed in period costume, sing songs from CHIPPEWA FALLS 1869: THE MUSICAL on the same date that the proclamation that founded the city was signed: March 25th. Browse through historic photographs, enjoy complimentary snacks and beverages, and talk with city officials and historians about the past, present and future of Chippewa Falls. The Chippewa County Historical Society will have books about Chippewa Falls on sale, a table and display of artifacts from the early 1800s, fur trade re-enactors from the Past Passed Here, and more. The Chippewa County Genealogy Society will be on hand with insights on many of the city’s founding families.
At 7:00 p.m. a formal program will be held in the Heyde Center auditorium starting with two songs by the Wayward Players. This will be followed by a brief speech by the Mayor of Chippewa Falls and finally the delivery of the proclamation to Doug Richter, the great-grandson of William Irvine (of Irvine Park fame). Richter will be the Grand Marshal of the August 10, 2019 Pure Water Days Parade in downtown Chippewa Falls. No cost for admission.
The musical will continue on additional dates at the Heyde Center later in the week, from Thursday, March 28th – Sunday, March 31st. More Sesquicentennial events will follow, and we’ll keep you up to date on them!
Chippewa Falls Sesquicentennial Celebration Kickoff Address:
Heyde Center for the Arts
3 S. High Street
Chippewa Falls, WI 54729
You’ll find the Heyde Center just east (and up the hill) from downtown Chippewa Falls. U.S. 53 and Highway 29 bring you there via freeway and local Business routes. Highways 124 and 178 bring you right in towards downtown!
April 5, 2019
Enjoy some Friday night fun during Racine First Fridays in Downtown Racine from April – December from 4-9pm! It happens throughout the downtown area, centered on Monument Square where Highways 20 and 38 cap the ends of a main thoroughfare that is Highway 32.
Socialize with friends and neighbors or even other road-trippers as you enjoy shopping, cool drinks and take a horse drawn carriage ride or stroll through the historic city streets. Join 50 plus independent downtown business owners as they welcome you to shop and dine locally while enjoying live music and discovering the best of Racine . . . Downtown!
Come early & stay late. If you value a big event in a historic downtown, Racine First Fridays is worth the drive, especially on a State Trunk Tour route. First Fridays is a group of small business owners of boutique shops, restaurants, art galleries and museums who have worked together to put this event on nine times a year for 13 years. Businesses stay open late, put live music outdoors in three parks, have horse & carriage rides and an outdoor beer garden. Art galleries offer artist’s demonstrations, restaurants offer specials and boutiques highlight new or favorite product lines. The sidewalks are filled with people and downtown is alive and vibrant.
Also you could get FREE admission to the Racine Art Museum!
In addition to First Fridays, check out the rest of downtown Racine. Right along the shores of Lake Michigan you can explore their marina, near the beach, zoo, Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and SC Johnson sites.
Take the drive to where Highways 11, 20, 32, and 38 come together in downtown Racine. Enjoy happy people taking in the best of what downtown Racine has to offer! Check out the First Fridays website for more details.
Racine First Fridays Address:
100 Main Street
Racine, WI 53403
April 13, 2019 – April 14, 2019
The East Troy Bunny Train provides Easter weekend family fun on Saturday and Sunday, April 13th and 14th, and Saturday, April 20th. The ride is a ten-mile round trip starting at the East Troy Depot. Board the heated train where kids can participate in Easter themed activities during the ride to the Elegant Farmer. Enjoy bunny displays by local 4-H Students and treats at the Elegant Farmer. Every Child with a ticket will receive an Easter gift! Boarding is only done at the East Troy Depot and advance reservations are required. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable, all ticket sales are final. Tickets can be purchased online or by phone & leave a message. A volunteer will return your call, and they appreciate your interest and support!
Bunny Train Admission Prices:
$8.00 – Toddlers (ages 0-2)
$14.00 – Children (ages 3-14)
$17.00 – Adults (ages 15 and up)
$12.00 – Members (call 262-642-3263 for details on membership)
More details and advance ticket purchases can be made on their website.
You can get to the East Troy Depot via Highway 20 or Highway 120, just north I-43. It’s also known as Church Street just north of the town square.
East Troy Bunny Train Address:
East Troy Railroad Depot
2002 Church Street
East Troy, WI 53120
The 12th Annual Dairy State Cheese & Beer Festival returns to the legendary Brat Stop in Kenosha on Saturday, April 13th! This fun-filled event features a variety of Wisconsin cheeses, some of the most sought after beers from Wisconsin and beyond and awesome live music!. This is a “don’t miss event” for anybody who likes beer, cheese and music!
Last time we checked over 50 different brewers will be there, with everything from Miller, Point, and Lakefront to Schell’s, Chimay, Bell’s, Estrella, Alaskan, and more – plus four local home brew societies. They’ll be pouring samples and providing info about their beers and brewing processes. Of course, great food – including brats – will be part of the sustenance and bands will be playing to serenade your eating, drinking, talking, and enjoying.
Proceeds benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of Kenosha. Check the Dairy State Cheese & Beer Festival Website for tickets, continued updates, and other details!
You’ll find the Brat Stop right along Highway 50, just west of the I-41/94 interchange. It’s a Wisconsin staple, after all.
Dairy State Cheese & Beer Festival Address:
The Brat Stop
12304 75th Street (Highway 50)
Kenosha, WI 53140
April 20, 2019
The Racine Zoo’s annual Eggstravaganza is 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 20th at the zoo, right along Highway 32 north of downtown, along the beautiful Lake Michigan lakefront.
Children and parents are invited to have fun hunting for the six “cluck-cluck” doors, playing themed games, enjoying two bouncy houses, cookie decorating and crafts, as as well as up-close animal encounters with the Racine Zoo Animal Ambassadors. Of course, food and beverages will be available for purchase. The Easter Bunny will be on hand to pose for photos at an additional $5 charge.
This “hoppin’ event” will feature:
• A hunt for 6 cluck-cluck doors throughout the Zoo to collect candy
• A photo with our special guest…the Easter Bunny! (digital photo will be emailed to you)
• Bounce houses
• EGG-cellent games
• Fun crafts and yummy snacktivities
• Easter Egg and Cookie Decorating
• Egg Dig
• Hoppin’ Dance Party
• Trunk Hunt (“Easter Style” of Trunk-or-Treat)
EggStravaganza Admission Rates:
Zoo Members: FREE
Child 3-15: $6
Seniors 62 & Older: $7
2 & Younger: FREE
You’ll find the Racine Zoo, which is fun any time of year, just north of downtown Racine along Highway 32. Highways 11, 20, and 38 also bring you close. Nearby, you can enjoy North Beach and the shopping, restaurants, and fun to be had in downtown Racine including the Racine Art Museum and Monument Square. To the north, the Wind Point Lighthouse beckons for a beautiful look at history and Lake Michigan; and in various locales around town, you can explore Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired architecture including the famous Johnson Wax Research Tower, Wingspan, and more. Kids might also love the historic fire station along 6th Street near City Hall and interactive exhibits at the Racine Historical Museum. All of the action is about 9-10 miles east of I-41/94; good north-south road trip alternates – if you want to avoid interstate construction zones – include U.S. 45 and Highway 31.
EggStravaganza Address (Racine Zoo)
2131 Main Street (Highway 32)
Racine, WI 53402
April 26, 2019 – April 27, 2019
Happening quarterly, Gallery Night & Day is one of the premier art events in Milwaukee. It’s the “Ultimate Art Weekend,” with over 50 venues throughout the Third Ward and Downtown that serve as showcases for viewing art from paintings to sculptures to other creative outlets. Bars and restaurants stay open later than usual Friday night, while Saturday is a prime time to continue the gallery gallivanting while also enjoying the area’s unique and eclectic selection of shops.
Along with art galleries, Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward is filled with boutique shops like Lela, Bangles & Bags, Shoo, Stephanie Horne Boutique, MILWORKS, Lizzibeth, Drybar, Too Much Metal, MODA3, and Red Elephant Chocolates. You’ll also find Anthropologie, Designs Within Reach, Restoration Hardware, The Home Market, Francesca’s, Mod Gen, Pendleton Woolen Mills, Retique, Warby Parker, Lululemon Athletica, Royal Enfield, and even the newer Shake Shack. You can also stop in Broken Bat Brewery for craft beer, Vino 100 for a fantastic selection of wines. Numerous restaurants in the Third Ward offer everything from bar food to Asian fusion, American and Korean barbecue, and Italian. The Milwaukee Public Market draws visitors from all over and offers takeaway and ready-to-eat food, drinks, and sundries in one dynamic setting.
This quarter, Gallery Night runs Friday and Saturday, April 26-27, 2019 (with July 19-20 the following quarter.) Activities begin late afternoon Friday and run through Saturday afternoon. I-43/94, I-794, U.S. 18, and Highway 32 are all amidst where it takes place; Highways 38, 59, and 145 get you close! The city has signs directing you to the Third Ward from the Marquette Interchange. You’ll also notice the tracks from the new Milwaukee Streetcar, which opened in November.
Full details and venue listings are available on their website. You’ll find the latest listings of shops, galleries, bars, restaurants, and more – things develop and change quickly in the Third Ward!
Gallery Night & Day Address:
Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward
300 N. Broadway (and all over the area)
Milwaukee, WI 53202
April 26, 2019 – April 28, 2019
The Spring Jefferson Swap Meet & Car Show is the largest swap meet in the Midwest!
Come and browse over 99 acres of Jefferson County Fair Park for classics, collectibles and parts to find that special piece for your collection. The 42nd Annual Spring Jefferson Swap Meet & Car Show features more than 3,100 vendor spaces and hundreds of cars for sale. The Swap Meet and Car Corral is all three days and the car show is Saturday and Sunday only. For the auto enthusiasts this swap meet boasts thousands of car parts and car accessory vendors making it a great place to buy or sell those hard to find car parts. For those looking to buy or sell cars, the Cars for Sale Corral is full of hundreds of cars of all makes and models for sale.
Admission is $8 per adult and kids 12 and under are free when accompanied by paying adult. Parking runs $4; no pets are allowed. The Jefferson County Fairgrounds are near U.S. 18 and the junction with the Highway 26 bypass, very close to Highway 89. It’s all about 7 miles south of I-94’s Johnson Creek exit via Highway 26.
While in Jefferson, head downtown and try a burger at Wedl’s, the smallest burger stand in the country. It’s a State Trunk Tour favorite! Also see what’s developing along the Rock River and along Business Highway 26… Jefferson has a lot developing right now!
Spring Jefferson Swap Meet & Car Show Address:
April 26, 2019 – April 28, 2019
Chippewa Falls’ annual Springfest hits the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds the weekend of April 26-28, 2019. It’s a family friendly event with over 40 exhibitors showing and selling their Spring and Summer products and services. Enjoy great food, from deep fried cheese curds to State Fair French fries, brick oven pizzas, prime rib sandwiches and so much more!
Saturday at 8:30am is the Leininkugel’s Springfest Kubb Championship! What’s Kubb?? Find out here! Saturday at 9am is their Classic Car Show, with plenty of beautiful classics on display from 9am-2pm. Also check out this interesting thing: the Hillbilly Silly Science Spectacular. Called the “most bizarre family comedy on the planet” and hosted by Dr. Cletus Beaker, MD, this show mixes science, humor, and a hillbilly. (Wondering if we’ll hear “hey y’all, watch this!” a lot?)
The ATV Big Air Tour is Saturday! Check out this choreographed Off-Road motorsports thrill show created for families and motocross fans of all ages. This nationwide tour showcases professional ATV and Off-Road rider’s abilities on a daring course of steel ramps with high-energy entertainment. Featuring high flying Freestyle ATV’s, 450cc Dirt bike backflips, BMX, Polaris RZR stunts, and the Big Air Babes! (This show costs extra, get the details here.)
Plenty of live music will be available too, in either of two heated tents. Here’s the lineup:
Friday, April 26th, 4:00 pm, Rockin’ Ivy
Friday, April 26th, 8:00 pm, Contradiction
Saturday, April 27th 11:00 am, Sage Leary
Saturday, April 27th 4:00 pm, Sue Orfield Band
Saturday, April 27th – 8:00 pm, Boogie & the Yo-Yoz
Sunday, April 28th,11:45 am, Doug Wozniak – The One Man Polka Band
Sunday, April 28th, 1:30 pm, Chi Hi Wire Choir
There’s plenty of family fun too, including a petting zoo, inflatables, a bonfire, and plenty of other activities for kids and grown-ups alike.
Tickets can be purchased at The Leinie Lodge, Select Kwik Trip Stores in the Chippewa Falls area, The Chippewa YMCA or online at the Chippewa Falls Rotary Club’s Facebook page.
3 day advanced sale tickets: $18
3 day at the gate: $20
1 day at gate: $10
Kids 12 & under are free
Parking is free, too!
You can find the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds just off Highway 124 on Edward Street, just north of the Leinenkugel Brewery and across from the beautiful Irvine Park & Zoo. It’s less than a mile north of downtown Chippewa Falls, where Highway 29 and U.S. 53 meet.
Chippewa Falls Springfest Address:
May 17, 2019 – May 19, 2019
Stoughton’s Syttende Mai festival is a weekend-long celebration of Norwegian heritage featuring fun activities and cultural experiences for the whole family. Check out three days of parades, amazing food and drink, arts and music, athletic competitions, and kids’ activities steeped in centuries of Norwegian culture.
The city-wide festival takes place every year on the weekend closest to Norway’s May 17th Constitution Day, also known as Syttende Mai. This year, it runs from the actual day on Friday, May 17th through Sunday, May 19th.
From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, Stoughton enjoyed an influx of Norwegians, and at one time, as many as 75 percent of its residents spoke Norwegian. These immigrants celebrated Syttende Mai unofficially, but it became an annual, city-wide tradition in the 1950s. 2018 marks the 65th consecutive year the festival has been organized by the Stoughton Chamber of Commerce.
Festival activities include:
- Stoughton Norwegian Dancers
- 20-Mile Run, 10-Mile Run, 17-Mile Walk, and Lil’ Community Run
- Hardanger Fiddle Performances
- Norwegian Heritage Center (Livsreise)
- Live Norwegian Art Demonstrations
- Edvard Grieg Chorus at the Stoughton Opera House
- Norse Costume Style Show
- Viking Games Strongman Competition
- Craft Beer Tent
- Traditional Norwegian Delicacies
- Food Trucks
- Youth Parade (Saturday)
- Norwegian Parade (Sunday)
- Canoe Race & Portage on the Yahara River
- Stoughton Village Players Theater Original Presentation
- Arts & Crafts Fair
Syttende Mai Festival Address:
via Stoughton Chamber of Commerce
532 E. Main Street
Stoughton, WI 53589
More details below!
Stoughton Norwegian Dancers
This dance troupe delights audiences with their intricate footwork, athleticism, and enthusiasm for traditional Norwegian culture. Around since 1952 and clad in traditional Norwegian costumes, or bunad, their dancing to music from the fjords, and their colorful and captivating performances are in demand nationwide. You’ll be able to see the Stoughton Norwegian Dancers and their traditional folk performances every day during the three-day Syttende Mai festival.
Other Live Performances
While enjoying all the Syttende Mai sights and delicious foods, don’t forget to experience the music, dance, and theater performances. Be sure to catch a Norwegian Dancer performance to experience Scandinavian folk dancing. Attend a Stoughton Village Players theatrical performance written and performed by local actors who are expert at presenting the humorous side of life in Stoughton. Be sure to seek out a Hardanger fiddle performance to see and hear these beautiful instruments up close.
- Chorus Public House Live Music
- Christ Lutheran Church
- Craft Beer Tent Entertainment
- Stoughton City Band Concert
- Stoughton Opera House
- Stoughton Village Players Theater
Crowning the Syttende Mai Royalty
Check out the crowning of Syttende Mai’s event ambassadors in a tradition that spans five decades. Stoughton’s Syttende Mai royalty kick off the three-day event and declare the weekend a statewide celebration.
Those who wear the Syttende Mai crown receive the honor for their commitment to community service and keeping the local Norwegian culture alive. Each year, a couple learns of their nomination in September and must keep it a secret from everyone, even friends and family, for five months. During the Stoughton Norwegian Dancers’ February Norse Afternoon of Fun, the new king and queen receive their crowns and join previous years’ honorees.
Although their reign is symbolic, the annual Syttende Mai King and Queen dress in traditional Norwegian clothing, or bunad, for the entire festival. In addition to opening the festival, the couple attend more than 40 events over the weekend. They are the festival’s icons and serve as cultural ambassadors to visitors. Have questions about the Norwegian cultural demonstrations, colors, music, foods and costumes you see? Ask this year’s king and queen (or one of our many volunteers).
Young people participate in the Syttende Mai royalty tradition, too. Two local third-grade students are selected as the festival’s annual Prince and Princess and are chosen to carry on Norwegian traditions among their peers. They serve as grand marshals of the Saturday Youth Parade, ride in the Sunday Norwegian Parade, and start The Lil’ Run. The pair also attend the opening dinner and make other appearances throughout the Syttende Mai festival.
Again, you’ll find Stoughton along U.S. 51 and Highway 138, southeast of Madison. I-39/90 and U.S. 14 also bring you close!