May 25, 2018 – May 28, 2018
Burlington is “Chocolate City, USA,” named so for its Nestle plant, which opened in 1965. Chocolate Fest started 22 years later in 1987 and has been delighting chocolate lovers ever since. Although the dates used to move around, it now takes place every Memorial Day weekend – this year, that means May 25-28, 2018.
Plenty of exhibits on chocolate, demonstrations on chocolate-making, and samples highlight the main theme of the festivals. Music from national and regional acts, family events, and more add to the fun. Need a sugar rush? There’s a cupcake-eating contest if you’re in a hurry for it!
There’s also a Rotary Carnival, a Chocolate City Bike Ride, fireworks, and a Memorial Day Veterans Day Parade. Chocolate Jenga is a crowd-pleaser – and suspenseful at times! Chocolate carvings, treats, and more add to the tasty fun.
The Burlington Festival Grounds are just off Milwaukee Street (City Highways 36 & 83) along Maryland Avenue near the Fox River and Riverside Park, northeast of downtown. City Highway 11 just to the south, and Highway 142 approaches from the southeast. While in town, you can check out other places like the Spinning Top & Yo-Yo Museum and Fred’s, one of Wisconsin’s legendary burger joints.
Live music and other performances will take place on several stages across the grounds. The Main Stage will include performances from the Lunch Money Bullies Friday night, Separate Ways and Royal Bliss Saturday night, Reverend Raven and Bella Cain Sunday night, and The Britins and the Orange Crush Band on Monday.
Tickets run $8 for people ages 12 and up, $4 for kids 5-12, and free for children 4 and under. Get all the details and updates on the Chocolate Fest website.
Have a chocolatey good time!
Chocolate Fest Address:
681 Maryland Avenue (Business Highway 36)
Burlington, WI 53105
Chocolate Fest Address:
Burlington Festival Grounds
681 Maryland Avenue (off Business 36)
Burlington, WI 53105
May 25, 2018 – May 28, 2018
World’s Largest Brat Fest
Since you’ve been freezing your buns all winter, cele-BRAT-e the official start of summer with the World’s Largest Brat Fest in Madison! Presented by Johnsonville, it takes place Memorial Day weekend at Willow Island. Putting the sizzle into summer for over 30 years, Brat Fest is one of the Midwest’s largest and best, family-friendly music festivals right in the heart of the capital city. Last year, they sold over 3.6 million brats!
Brat Fest Music Lineup
The diverse music lineup features over 100 bands covering folk, country, jazz, blues, soul, and rock. Headliners this year include Gin Blossoms, Stryper, Blackstone Cherry, Aaron Lewis, Gwen Sebastian, Saving Abel, Dead Horses, Ben Haggard, Jessica Meuse, Bobaflex, and more! Get the full lineup, starting with Friday, here.
It’s not all about the music, however. Enjoy ice cold beverages and tasty food, including BRATS, of course. The Bratteyball Tournament is a “bratty” volleyball tournament with four divisions competing on Saturday. There will be a kids’ zone with plenty of activities to keep the young ones busy – including a “bounce zone” and a petting zoo. There’s Ultrazone Laser Tag, a Sports Zone, even the Budweiser Clydesdales will make an appearance!
Free shuttle buses will be running between the zoo and Brat Fest all weekend, giving families the chance to see the new Arctic Passage exhibit.
Admission to the World’s Largest Brat Fest is FREE! And while it’s a little known fact that brats are even tastier when eaten for a good cause, all of the Fest’s proceeds go to numerous local charities. Check it all out on Willow Island at the Alliant Energy Center and kick off the summer right with some of that Brat Fest sizzle.
Harley Davidson of Madison is providing exclusive V.I.P. motorcycle parking for 200 bikes – just use the entrance off Rimrock Road (just off the Beltline) to access that area.
Get details on all the events, food and drink menus, and more at the Brat Fest website here.
You can get to Madison so many ways: I-39/90, I-94, U.S. 12, 14, 18, or 151, or Highways 30 or 113. Enjoy a beautiful Memorial Day weekend in town with Brat Fest – and check out the State Capitol, the Wisconsin Memorial Union Terrace, Lakes Mendota and Monona, the Henry Vilas Zoo, and everything else our capital city has to offer!
World’s Largest Brat Fest Address:
Alliant Energy Center
1919 Alliant Energy Center Way
Madison, WI 53713
June 1, 2018 – June 3, 2018
Port Washington’s picturesque setting has helped make this a “must attend” event for boaters, bikers, Buccaneers, Revolutionary War re-enactors & families alike from all over the Midwest and beyond.
The event includes the Thieves Marketplace (see a list of vendors below), a Gruel Galley, a Buccaneer Bash, Parade, Children’s activities, demonstrations, educational exhibits, musicians, comedians, a Pirate Ship & much more.
On Saturday night June 2nd, the Harborview 8K Run (that’s 5 miles for you non-metrics) will let you experience sunset views as you run next to Lake Michigan and through the Port Washington Marina. There will be commemorative finisher medals, a lightweight hoodie event shirt, free entry into the Port Pirate Family Daze and finally a free drink ticket for the big kids.
Also, feel free to explore the Port Exploreum in town, as well as the shops, restaurants, and more in this beautiful downtown.
Friday 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm; Saturday 10:00 am – 11:00 pm; Sunday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm.
To get to Port Washington, just follow Highway 32 or Highway 33 from I-43 or Highway 57. It’s only about 30 minutes north of Milwaukee. And stay tuned to find out more about their history with the Blues, events like Port Fish Day, and much more!
Thieves Marketplace Vendors:
Junque In Thy Trunk
DaSue Dragon Designs
LuLaroe By Deidre
Renewal By Anderson
The Froggy Viking
Captain Kuts Pirate Ware
Laughing Dawg Studio
Ever Dry Wisconsin
Yellow Dog Treats
Claire’s Creative Designs
June 1, 2018 – June 3, 2018
Marshfield features its 37th annual Dairyfest the weekend of June 1-3, 2018. This is Hub City’s annual honor of the dairy industry!
It all kicks off Friday, June 1st with the Mayor’s Breakfast. Over 2,100 people – yourself possibly included – will enjoy scrambled egg omelets filled with cheese, hash browns, ham, mushrooms, onions, and real butter, all complimented with squeaky fresh cheese curds, cheese slices, assorted muffins, strawberry sundaes, fresh fruit, piping hot coffee, and ice cold white and chocolate milk. As attendees enter the breakfast hall they are welcomed with lively, festive music. Every attendee takes home a souvenir ceramic coffee mug.
Later that day, an old fashioned Picnic in the Park is offered in Columbia Park. Pack your own picnic lunch or purchase food from both commercial vendors and non-profit organizations. Children’s games including a coin/candy hunt, children’s games, petting zoo, the civic band concert, and an outdoor movie in the park complete the evening.
Saturday is Family Fun Day at Dairyfest. Activities are jam packed, starting with the annual Cheese Chase (2K run/walk, 5K and 10K runs), which kicks off at 7:30am.
More Saturday activities include an arts/crafts show selling some of the Midwest’s finest treasures, a kids’ parade just prior to the grown-ups’ parade, a mesmerizing magic show, face painting, a petting zoo, inflatable fun for kids of all ages, and food booths galore to tempt everyone’s taste buds – and yes, much of it will be dairy-oriented! In fact, there will be FREE milk from 1-4pm.
Completing the weekend Dairyfest activities are a co-ed softball tournament, and the ACO Wisconsin State Cornhole Championships. Dairyfest events take place in Marshfield’s Columbia Park, the new Wenzel Park, the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds, and the Governor William Upham House. Get the full lineup of ALL the activities (and there are a ton of them) HERE via .pdf.
Marshfield is nicknamed “Hub City” for being VERY centrally-located in the state and was hub for many early railroads. Today, you can reach Marshfield via U.S. 10 or Highways 13, 80 or 97. And while you’re there, check out the Blue Heron Brewpub, the shops and restaurants along Central Avenue, and more!
Various locations around town, including the Central Wisconsin State Fairgrounds
513 E. 17th Street
Marshfield, WI 54449
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! Watch for one more during the 2018 season, too.
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
June 2, 2018
Cows on the Concourse is a celebrated tradition that kicks off June Dairy Month in Dane County. At this free and family-friendly event, kids and adults can meet and greet cows and baby calves from local dairy farms.
Check out Cows on the Concourse as you peruse the Dane County Farmers’ Market on Saturday, June 2, 2018 and enjoy live music, tasty food, fun games, and real, live cows!
Cows on the Concourse celebrates Wisconsin’s dairy industry, which contributes more than $43.4 billion to our state’s economy – Wisconsin is truly “America’s Dairyland.”
Get up close and personal with two different herds of cows and baby calves from several dairy breeds. You can even pet them! Joining the cows are local Wisconsin farmers and other “Moo Experts” to answer all your questions.
Get MOOving & Fit Zone
Kids, check out our athletic stations and learn how dairy products are a part of healthy lifestyle and keep your bodies strong. Don’t forget to fuel up with ice-cold milk after you exercise!
Dairy is a rich tradition in Wisconsin, but how did it get to be that way? In this youth-friendly station, learn how dairy has become the cornerstone of Wisconsin’s economy as well as how all the great dairy products have become signature treats for folks in the Badger State.
Cows on the Concourse Big Cheese Zone
Sink your teeth into a melt-in-your-mouth grilled cheese sandwich for only $2. Don’t forget to grab a bottle of ice-cold milk to wash it down!
My Dairyland Scavenger Hunt
Join in the My Dairyland Scavenger Hunt and visit each zone at Cows on the Concourse. Learn fun dairy facts and record your answers for a chance to win a free souvenir t-shirt while supplies last.
Can’t get enough dairy? Hop on a school bus for an excursion to the Town Center at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery on the UW-Madison campus. You will learn about the science of dairy foods and even do some sampling too!
A free shuttle will travel between the two locations, departing every 20 minutes between 10 a.m. and noon.
Saturday Science will include a bonus stop for the My Dairyland Scavenger Hunt.When you complete the My Dairyland Scavenger Hunt at Cows on the Concourse, take your question card to Saturday Science and earn a token for a scoop of Culver’s custard while supplies last!
Their website (CowsOnTheConcourse.org) has even more details. Check it out Saturday, June 2 from 8am-1pm on the Capitol Square in Madison. U.S. 12, 14, 18 and Highways 30 and 113 all bring you to the city, and U.S. 151 takes you right to the Square!
June 2, 2018 – June 3, 2018
GO FLY A KITE!! The 17th annual Outta Sight Kite Flight Kite Festival takes place in Kenosha’s Kennedy Park, June 2 & 3, 2018.
- See 500+ kites launch simultaneously to the tune of Mary Poppins’ “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” at noon during the Grand Launch.
- The Chicago Fire Precision Kite Team, a precision dual line kite flying team, will perform three times each day.
- Fire & Ice and Jean Lemire will also be performing. Milwaukee’s own professional kite flyer, Paul Koepke, will be performing with Fire & Ice.
- The giant Kites of Alex Dagenais from Montreal Canada, will be making another appearance with their Super Giant Octopus kite, along with a mega 150 foot Octopus kite.
- New this year, there will be a giant 100 foot kite shaped like a full size whale.
- Coming back again this year, Connor Doran from America’s Got Talent will be flying indoors at 2 schools on Friday, June 1st, and on both days of the event at Kennedy Park.
- Jean Lemire will attempt to fly 3 stunt kites at the same time.
- Tom and Kathi Deck will be on hand for the sixth time with their giant Bubble machine. This is one of the largest and longest running bubble machines in the country.
- The Kenosha News will be on hand to make free kites for the kids, always a fun favorite.
This family event is free to all, with free parking. Free kites will be given away to the first 100 kids who participate in the City of Kenosha’s “Kids’ Mad Dash,” where 100 kids launch their kites all at the same time. The first kid reaching the highest altitude in 60 seconds wins. LOOK OUT and LOOK UP!
Kites and food will be available for sale at the park.
Outta Sight Kite Flight Festival Address:
4051 5th Avenue
Kenosha, WI 53143
The Hoard Historical Museum and National Dairy Shrine in Fort Atkinson has its annual Dairy Day at the “MOOseum” Saturday, June 2nd. It’s a celebration of all things dairy!
Learn about the dairy industry—both past and present—from the cow to the final products of cheese, yogurt, and milk. Booths featuring dairy-related businesses, groups, and dairy samples available throughout grounds and Museum.
Inga from PBS’ Around the Farm Table will be here to talk about dairy tourism and hold a cooking demonstration at 11:30 a.m.
This year’s Dairy Cook-off theme is grilled cheese sandwiches, and you can buy a grilled cheese sandwich from Jefferson County Agribusiness or a Root-breed float in honor of your favorite dairy breed for lunch!
Family friendly activities include as barn games, dairy trivia, and the Cow Parade, which gets “moooo-ving” at 1:30 pm.
In addition, the Hoard Historical Museum and the National Dairy Shrine Museum will be open for visitors from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Dairy Day at the MOOseum Address:
401 Whitewater Avenue (U.S. 12 & Highway 89)
Fort Atkinson, WI 53538
June 2, 2018 – June 3, 2018
Carp Fest is held at Central Park in Two Rivers, where you can enjoy live music, food and refreshments through out the weekend. The annual Carp Fest is a family fun event centered around the prized Golden Carp, which is found in the East and West Twin Rivers that make up why Two Rivers has its name.
The Wisconsin Carp Championship catch and release fishing tournament is held over the weekend, where World Class Carp Anglers are fishing not only to be the WI State Carp Champion, but earn a spot on Team USA and fish the World Carp Championship.
Come out and cheer for one of the Anglers at pegs found at Vets Park, Paddlers Park and Washington Park locations on the East and West Twin Rivers. Bring the kids out to meet Cliff Cousteau the Carp Fest Mascot!
You can find Central Park along Washington Avenue in Two Rivers; Highways 42, 147, and 310 all bring you there.
Sat. June 2nd:
Fishing Tournament Begins
Tent at Carp Fest opens – 2:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Conscious Pilot performs from 3:00 to 6:00
Annex performs from 7:00 to 11:00
Sun. June 3rd:
The tent at Carp Fest opens – 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Out of Time performs from 3:00 to 7:00
Fishing Tournament Awards Ceremony
1750 Washington Street
Two Rivers, WI 54241
June 7, 2018 – June 10, 2018
Among them: the A&P Carnival, one of the Midwest’s best. There’s also a craft and flea market, a quilt show, softball tournaments, a cornhole bean bag tournament, dance demonstrations, firemen’s water fights, a milking contest, stage entertainment, and much more. The Miss Sparta Pageant will be held during the event, one of the sanctioned events where the winner can then compete in Miss Wisconsin.
It runs Thursday June 7th through Sunday, June 10th. The Butterfest Parade takes place Sunday at 12:30pm. The whole event takes place at Memorial Park in Sparta. I-90 and Highways 16, 21, 27, and 71 bring you there! (Heck, so does the Elroy-Sparta Trail!)
Check out the Sparta Butterfest website for complete schedules and details.