Calendar of Events

Upcoming Events

July 7, 2018 – September 3, 2018

Bristol Renaissance Faire

bristolrenfaire_logo01Along the Wisconsin-Illinois border you can go back to the 16th century at the Bristol Renaissance Faire. A plethora of entertainment, great food, performances, and a marketplace filled with crafts, art, musical instruments, clothes, jewelry, and more await. You’ll find plenty of colorful characters in period costumery, performers twirling fire, people mashing their mouths into giant turkey legs, wandering minstrels, swordfights, jousting… the list goes on and on. It’s a great summer weekend activity just west of Kenosha on the Illinois border!

Bristol Renaissance Faire runs Saturdays and Sundays from July 7th though Labor Day (yes, it runs that Monday and that’s the only Monday.) 2018 marks the Faire’s 30th season.

The Kid’s Kingdom is a newer addition, including the Castle Stage where children can get knighted, a face-painting area (don’t worry, it washes off eventually), hobbit houses, an entrance area with five huge thrones that provide great photo opportunities, and an air-conditioned rest area.

A giant turkey leg slathered in barbecue sauce is an essential part of the Bristol Renaissance Faire experience, but they also offer everything from Cornish pasties and bakery goods to vegan items and gelato. The number of entertainment stages now totals sixteen. Comedic sword-fighting, ropewalking, juggling, fire-whipping, acrobatics, chalk art, a variety of musicians, and more. The Marketplace offers the work of nearly 175 artisans and crafters; you can find Scottish kilts, leather masks, bamboo flutes, jester socks, stage-combat-approved swords, steampunkery, and much more. Glass blowing and blacksmithing activities frequently happen in the Marketplace as well as a variety of other crafting.

Tickets range from $25.95 for adults and $11.50 for children ages 5-12; kids 4 and under are free; advance purchase prices online are a buck or two less. Season passes can be purchased for $125 and you can get discount coupons here. U.S. 41, I-41/94, Highway 165, and the state line border the “Fairegrounds,” with U.S. 45 and Highway 50 also getting you close!

Bristol Renaissance Faire Location:

12550 120th Avenue
Kenosha, WI 53142
(877) 435-9849

Start: July 7, 2018
End: September 3, 2018
Venue: Bristol Renaissance Faire
Phone: 877-435-9849
12550 120th Avenue, Kenosha, WI, 53142, United States
Cost: 25.95

July 14, 2018 – July 22, 2018


Salmon-A-Rama, RacineRacine’s annual Salmon-A-Rama is a popular tournament open to all anglers on Lake Michigan, with nine days of entertainment for the whole family! Now one of the largest freshwater salmon and trout tournaments in the world, Salmon-A-Rama features participation categories like the off shore/Boat division, on shore, youth, kayak, Two-In-A-Boat and Super Sweepstakes.

The Grand Prize is a combination of $25,000 cash and a 9.9-horsepower Yamaha outboard motor or the choice of a 2018 GMC Canyon, Buick Encore or Chevrolet Camaro. There’s an additional $70,000 in cash and prizes in several categories. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Lake Michigan fishery for future generations to enjoy.

Salmon-A-Rama is not only a fishing tournament, it’s also a festival. There will be something for everyone. There will be bands, raffles, a bags tournament, pig roast, smelt fry, fish boil, kids entertainment and so much more.

Salmon-A-Rama kicks off at 12:01 am Saturday, July 14th (so you might also say late Friday night) and it runs through 11 am on Sunday, July 22nd. Tournament headquarters are in a new location this year: Pershing Park, 500 Pershing Drive, on Racine’s lakefront. You can stop by the tent every day to check on the leaderboards and/or explore the variety of vendors, the fish weigh-in, and numerous fish cooking and smoking demonstrations.

Some of the catches at Salmon-A-Rama

2018 Salmon-A-Rama Entertainment Lineup:

Friday (July 13): “The Now” 7:30 to 11 p.m.
Saturday (July 14) – Kids Day from 1 to 5 p.m. – $3 per person unlimited play on bounce houses from Blue Sky Inflatibles. Also, minnow races, coloring contests and make-your-own boat event. Fish boil, 4 to 7 p.m., $10; “The Cheap Shots” 7:30 to 11 p.m.

Thursday (July 19): “Bullfrog” 7:30 to 10 p.m.
Friday (July 20): “Boys & Toys” 7:30 to 11 p.m.
Saturday (July 21): “Mean Jake” 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.; “Blues Disciples” 7:30 to 11 p.m.

Sunday, July 22nd is known as The Big Celebration.  On this final day of activities there will be something for everyone. Bring the kids to play in the bouncy houses and participate in other activities provided for the children. The large raffle for anyone participating in the event will take place, along with awards, large gun raffle and the winner of the peanut raffle will be announced.

Salmon-A-Rama is presented by Salmon Unlimited of Wisconsin. You can get tournament updates on their website, including ticket information.

Pershing Park and the Racine lakefront is accessible via Highways 11, 20, 32, and 38, all about 8 miles east of I-41/94.

Salmon-A-Rama Address:

Pershing Park
500 Pershing Drive
Racine, WI 53043
(262) 995-3459

Start: July 14, 2018
End: July 22, 2018
Venue: Pershing Park
Phone: 262-995-3459
500 Pershing Drive, Racine, WI, 53403, United States

July 18, 2018 – July 22, 2018

Waukesha County Fair

The Oldest County Fair in Wisconsin celebrates 176 years in 2018! The Waukesha County Fair celebrates the county’s heritage with barnyard animals, crafts, foods, farm displays—and, of course, the midway. You can enjoy concerts from Tesla, Vertical Horizon & Sister Hazel, Warrant, and the Guess Who. There’s also a Classic Car Show Sunday from 3-9pm, a Fair Fun Run, Demolition Derby, Dacy Air Shows, Fairest of the Fair, Shark Encounter Shows and Hot Air Balloon shows, and more!

Waukesha County Fair Ferris WheelAdmission
At the Gate (Cash Only):
Adult = $10.00
Youth (6-12 years) = $5.00
Children 5 and Under FREE
Daily Parking $5.00 (vehicle entry is subject to availability)
Free Motorcycle Parking courtesy of Hupy and Abraham S.C.
Admission Re-Entry Wristbands are available at Gate 2 or the Fair Office (located north of the Forum Marketplace). They are valid for re-entry to the Fair for same-day admission only and do not include parking.

Waukesha County Fair

Wednesday, Noon – 10 pm
Thursday, 10 am – Midnight
Friday, 10 am – Midnight
Saturday, 10 am – Midnight
Sunday, 10 am – 9 pm

Waukesha County Fair Address:

2417 Silvernail Road
Pewaukee, WI 53072
(262) 544-5922

You’ll find the fair at the Waukesha County Fairgrounds, just south of I-94 between Exits 293 (County T) and 294 (County F). Highways 16, 59, 164, and U.S. 18 all bring you here – or close.

Their Website full schedules, and click here for specific ticket pricing and daily specials!

Start: July 18, 2018
End: July 22, 2018
Venue: Waukesha County Fairgrounds
Phone: 262-544-5922
1000 Northview Road, Waukesha, WI, 53188, United States

July 19, 2018 – July 22, 2018

Waterford Balloonfest

Ready for colorful dotted skies over this pretty southeastern Wisconsin town? The 8th annual Waterford Balloonfest features over a dozen balloonists from around the nation through the weekend of July 19-22, 2018.

And here’s some cool news: the 2018 US Women’s National Balloon Championships will be held in conjunction as a part of the 8th Annual Waterford Balloonfest! The US Women’s National Championship will run July 18th through the 22nd, with the 8th Annual Waterford Balloonfest will add additional hot air balloons to the mix beginning on Friday, July 20th and running through the weekend.

The classic “evening balloon glows” are take place Friday and Saturday evenings, plus balloonist flight competitions which will highlight their amazing flying skills… which is tricky in a balloon! (Trust us, we’ve been in one.)

Craft and business vendors will show their wares and provide information on their businesses. Local food establishments will offer food and beverages, including many desserts. Another activities include a kids’ area with games, activities, and entertainment, a 5K run/walk, helicopter rides, and much more!

Information on getting a hot air balloon ride or a tethered ride can be found by contacting WindDancer Balloon Promotions by e-mail:

Admission is FREE! Preferred parking is available for $10, motorcycles $5.

Highways 20, 36, 83, and 164 all bring you to Waterford, which is in far western Racine County.

Waterford Balloonfest Address:

Evergreen Elementary School
817 W. Main Street
Waterford, WI 53185

Waterford Balloonfest Schedule of Events

Thursday, July 19, 4:00pm to Midnight
Daily Activities, 4-10pm:
Kids Zone
Arts & Crafts Market
Helicopter Rides

Hot Air Balloon Activities, 6am – 8pm
(all times are approximate, weather permitting)
6:00am – 7:30am US Women’s Competitive Flight Window
6:30pm – 8:00pm US Women’s Competitive Flight Window

(enclosed beer garden, ages 21+)
6:00pm – 10:00pm The Big Idea

Friday, July 20, 6:00am to Midnight
Kids Zone
Arts & Crafts Market
Helicopter Rides
Tether Rides Sponsored by Edstrom
Industries Business Vendor Village (thru 5pm)
Milwaukee Rotocross LED Drone Racing 7:00pm

Hot Air Balloon Activities, 6am – 9:15pm
(all times are approximate, weather permitting)
6:00am – 7:30am US Women’s Competitive Flight Window
6:15pm – Opening Ceremony with American Legion, National Anthem sung by Savanna Schraeder
6:30pm – 7:30pm Competitive Flight/Balloon Launch Window
8:30pm – 9:15pm Balloon Night Glow

Launch Stage, 4pm – 8pm (Sponsored by Witte Supply)
4:00pm – 8:00pm DJ, Magnum Entertainment

(enclosed beer garden, ages 21+)
4:00pm – 5:30pm Critter Hill
7:00pm – 11:00pm Lunch Money Bullies

Saturday July 21, 6am – Midnight
Daily Activities, 11am – 10pm:
Kids Zone
Arts & Crafts Market
Helicopter Rides
Tether Rides Sponsored by Edstrom Industries
Business Vendor Village (thru 4:30pm)

Hot Air Balloon Activities, 6am – 10am & 5pm – 9:30pm
(all times are approximate, weather permitting)
6:00am – 7:30am Balloon Competition Launch Window
6:00am – Tethered Balloon Rides (thru 10:00am, opens again at 5:00pm)
6:30pm – Mass Ascension Launch Window
8:30pm – 9:15pm Balloon Night Glow

Featured Events, 6am – 10pm
6:00am – 11:00am Pancake Breakfast
10:00am Milwaukee Rotocross Drone Races
Noon – 3:00pm Mad Science, Kid’s Zone
1:00pm – 3:00pm Balloon Pilot Meet & Greet
1:00pm – 4:00pm Fairytale Princess Meet & Greet Sponsored by Equitable Bank
7:00pm – Milwaukee Rotocross LED Drone Racing
8:30pm – Disney-Pixar’s Moana – Outdoor Movie presented by TDS Telecom (1hr 53min)

Launch Stage, 12pm – 8pm, Sponsored by Witte Supply
2:00pm – Rock Shop Youth Band Showcase
3:00pm – Accent on Dance
4:00pm – Sonic Dreams
4:00pm – The Taxmen
7:00pm – Dog House Charlie, Sponsored by Savaglia Investments

(enclosed beer garden, ages 21+)
3:00pm – June’s Got Cash
7:00pm – 11:00pm Chasin’ Mason

Start: July 19, 2018
End: July 22, 2018
Venue: Evergreen Elementary School
Phone: 262-534-5911
817 W. Main Street, Waterford, WI, 53185, United States
Cost: Free

July 19, 2018 – July 22, 2018

The WeatherTech® International Challenge at Road America

A mid-summer favorite, The WeatherTech® International Challenge with Brian Redman presented by HAWK is one of the largest vintage racing events in the United States and features over 400 cars competing in several groups.

Taking place July 19-22, 2018, this four-day weekend event will also showcase a historic CAN-AM race, which is the highlight of this year’s event as an impressive field of cars is expected to gather in celebration of CAN-AM’s 50th Anniversary. This year’s event will also feature a special UOP Shadow CAN-AM tribute and Corvair reunion. The Nationwide Concours d’ Elegance in downtown Elkhart Lake on Friday for race cars and Saturday night for street cars is a can’t miss event for any enthusiast.

Get updates, ticket and event details, and more on their website.

You’ll find Road America along Highway 67 just north of Highway 23 and Plymouth and just west of Highway 57 in Sheboygan County.

Address for the Road America WeatherTech International Challenge:

N7390 State Highway 67
Plymouth, WI 53073
(920) 892-4576


Start: July 19, 2018
End: July 22, 2018
Venue: Road America
Phone: 920-892-4576
N7390 State Highway 67, Plymouth, WI, 53073, United States

July 19, 2018 – July 22, 2018

Country Thunder

Some of the biggest acts in country music hit Twin Lakes for Country Thunder over four days, July 19-22!  Plenty of campsites are available and you can purchase tickets here. If you don’t want to camp, you can stay elsewhere and shuttle in, including the Lakefront Shuttle from Lake Geneva.

Performers include Sam Hunt, Midland, Bryan White, Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, Ashley McBryde, Toby Keith, Tyler Farr, Mark Chesnutt, Lindsay Ell, Waterloo Revival, Luke Bryan, Brett Young, Sawyer Brown, Morgan Wallen, and more.

Country Thunder Schedule for 2018

Thursday, July 19

Friday, July 21

Saturday, July 22

Sunday, July 23

The Boathouse Cabana will feature many additional acts across all four days.

The Country Thunder grounds are very close to the Wisconsin-Illinois state line, centrally located between Highway O and Highway P, near 119th St in southwestern Kenosha County. U.S. 12 is close by; Twin Lakes is a few miles south of Highway 50 and west of U.S. 45 and Highway 83.

Country Thunder East
2305 Lance Drive
Twin Lakes, WI 53181
(866) 802-6418

Start: July 19, 2018
End: July 22, 2018
Venue: Country Thunder East
Phone: 866-802-6418
2305 Lance Drive, Twin Lakes, WI, 53181, United States

July 20, 2018 – July 22, 2018

Festa Italiana

festaitalianaFesta Italiana is “your ticket to Italy” when it hits Milwaukee’s lakefront on July 20-22! Amazing Italian food, great entertainment, and the loudest fireworks around. This year, Festa Italiana celebrates 41 years along Milwaukee’s beautiful lakefront.

Check out Flag-Throwers of the Florentine, direct from Italy. For music, check out great acts across six stages, including the Children’s Stage. Headliners include Anthony Crivello, George Busateri’s Spider George and the Web, Louis Vanaria, The Sicilian Tenors featuring Aaron Caruso, Sam Vitale, and Vincent Riccardi, Agne, Tre Bella, Cory Pesaturo, Graziana Maria Lazzaro, and FLEMT – straight from Italy. Longtime favorite Rick D’Amore makes his return, too!

Magic tricks, food demonstrations, comedians Vince Carone and Carmen Vallone, singers from the Florentine Opera, and more are all performing each day. The UW Marching Band will perform on Sunday, and the Children’s Stage will have all kinds of entertainment throughout the day.

You can also enjoy a romantic gondola ride on the cove, play bocce ball, watch the Copa Festa Italiana Futsal tournament, or compete in Italian Idol. Classic Italian fare and wine tastings, Kids Pizza Making Contest and annual Cannoli Eating Contest. There’s also a traditional Sunday Mass at 11am.

The fireworks go off every Festa evening around 10pm, and they’re a blast! (No pun intended. Okay, fine, pun intended.) There’s also quite a bit of noise with the Milwaukee Air & Water Show, where planes roar overhead during Festa Italiana.

Tickets are $10 in advance, $13 at the gate, Children 12 and under are admitted free all three days when accompanied by an adult. And check out the $7 for 7 Days ticket special, which runs June 18-24 for advance ticket purchases!

You can find the grounds under (literally, under) I-794 along Milwaukee’s lakefront. U.S. 18 ends right by the North Gate, and swinging nearby are I-43, I-94, and Highways 32, 38, 57, 59, and 145.

Festa Italiana Address:

Henry Maier Festival Park
200 N. Harbor Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Start: July 20, 2018 11:30 am
End: July 22, 2018 11:00 pm
Venue: Henry Maier Festival Park
Phone: 414-223-2808
200 N. Harbor Drive, Milwaukee, WI, 53202, United States
Cost: 10

July 21, 2018 – July 22, 2018

Milwaukee Air & Water Show

The Milwaukee Air & Water Show, sponsored by Waterstone Bank, offers one of the top air shows in the Midwest along the city’s gorgeous lakefront. This year, they’re proud to announce the Grand Return of the U.S. Air Force Jet Demonstration Squadron – the “Thunderbirds,” aka “America’s Ambassadors in Blue.”

The USAF F-15E “Strike Eagles” will also perform with 2-ship formations, straight from the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB.


An “M” for Milwaukee at the Milwaukee Air & Water Show we snapped from Back Bay Park on Milwaukee’s East Side.

Other exciting acts to perform in Milwaukee’s skies this July include the U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon Patrol Aircraft, U.S. Navy Leapfrogs Parachute Team, the USAF T-38 “Talons”in 2-3 ship formation, the return of the U.S. Air Force A-10 Warthogs, the U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super-Hornet Tactical Demonstration Squadron, the Wisconsin Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker straight from Milwaukee’s own 128th Air Refueling Wing base, and the Firebirds X-treme Team. Solo aerobatics and stunts will be performed by Bill Stein, Mike Wiscus, Jack Knutson, Matt Chapman, and Lt. Colonel Josh “Tater” Boudreaux of the “Wild Blue Rodeo.”

On the waters of Lake Michigan, check out the USCGC Bristol Bay (WLB), a 225-foot multi-mission buoy tender out of Detroit; a NEW Water Show act from Milwaukee’s own Dennis Pinter, who will demonstrate the “Air Chair” on the water! Daredevil and Pro Flyboard competitor Casey “Swizzle” McElwee will also perform with his Hydroflyte and Flyboard act. You can also check out the Milwaukee Fire Department’s “Trident Fireboat,” which will demonstrate its capabilities on the water, and witness an HH-60 Jayhawk Rescue Helicopter Air-Sea Rescue Demostration courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station out of Traverse City, Michigan.

Milwaukee Air & Water Show, two planes

You can watch from Bradford Beach and many other areas along Milwaukee’s lakefront for free. Ticketed areas offer the closest proximity, the best views, hosted narration, the best access to concessions, and great seating. This is definitely a benchmark summer event in Milwaukee! U.S. 18, Highways 32, 36, 38, 57, 59, 145, 190 and more all bring to within eye (and definitely ear!) shot of the show.

Milwaukee Air & Water Show Address:

2272 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53211
(414) 482-2069

Milwaukee Air & Water Show Schedule of Events:

Friday, July 20

Air Show Practice, 11am – 3pm
Food & Beverage, 10am – 6pm
Air Show Exhibits, 10am – 6pm
Air Show Box Office, 10am – 8pm

Saturday, July 21

Air Show Box Office, 8am – 8pm
Water Show begins at 10am
Daily Air Show, 12pm – 4pm
USAF Thunderbirds, 3pm

Sunday, July 22

Air Show Box Office, 8am – 8pm
Water Show begins at 10am
Daily Air Show, 12pm – 4pm
USAF Thunderbirds, 3pm

Start: July 21, 2018
End: July 22, 2018
Venue: Milwaukee's Lakefront
Phone: 414-482-2069
2272 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive, Milwaukee, WI, 53211, United States

July 21, 2018 – July 22, 2018

Midsummer Festival of the Arts

The John Michael Kohler Arts Center celebrates the Midsummer Festival of the Arts July 21-22, 2018. More than 135 artists descend on downtown Sheboygan for a weekend of exhibitions, all set amidst gardens surrounding the world-class Arts Center with its light-filled spaces, 12 galleries, and ARTcafe.

The John Michael Kohler Arts Center, home to the Midsummer Festival of the ArtsThis is touted as one of the finest outdoor arts festivals in Wisconsin! Exhibitors include jewelry, ceramics, glass, sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, leather, sculpture, art glass, wearable art, and more.

Fun, hands-on workshops for the whole family include “Concrete Creations: Fantasy Faces,” Clay Play, Marvelous Magificent Mobiles, and face painting for the kids (I think it’s just for kids, heck, doesn’t hurt to ask if you’re a grown-up and want your face painted, too.)

Visit the food court where the Culinary Art Car and other food trucks will recharge your energy reserves with a wrap, cheese curds, bratwurst, gyros, ice cream, or one of many other delicious treats.

Festivalgoers will be treated to “finger-snappin’, toe-tappin’”, free concerts from the Levitt AMP Sheboygan Music Series. The lineup includes the Mark Croft Band and Well-Known Strangers on Saturday. This Big Life, King Solomon, and Big Little Lions are scheduled to take the stage on Sunday.

Click here for all the details on the Midsummer Festival of the Arts, including a schedule of events and all the particulars. Admission is FREE.

Midsummer Festival of the Arts Address:

John Michael Kohler Arts Center
608 New York Avenue
Sheboygan, WI 53081
(920) 458-6144

You’ll find the John Michael Kohler Arts Center on New York Avenue just east of 7th Street. It’s right between the heart of the Sheboygan’s downtown and Lake Michigan. Highways 23, 28, and 42 all bring you into town!

While in Sheboygan, check out their new City Green, which we discuss (along with many other things Sheboygan!) in our State Trunk Tour Podcast:

Start: July 21, 2018 10:00 am
End: July 22, 2018 4:00 pm
Venue: John Michael Kohler Arts Center
Phone: 920-458-6144
608 New York Avenue, Sheboygan, WI, 53081, United States
Cost: Free

July 23, 2018 – July 29, 2018

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh name in smoke

Yep, they can spell out anything at EAA!

EAA AirVenture is the World’s Largest Fly-In! What CAN’T you experience here?

EAA stands for Experimental Aircraft Association, and it’s a total blast. Whether you come to fly or just watch, you experience the world’s greatest aviation celebration. Warbirds. Vintage. Homebuilts. Ultralights, even the Blue Angels!

Enjoy all kinds of planes, aerobatics, hands-on workshops, and celebrations. AirVenture draws flight enthusiasts from across the globe, briefly turning Oshkosh’s Wittman Regional Airport into one of the busiest airports in the world.

EAA AirVenture Oskhosh plane on display

EAA AirVenture runs a full week, from Monday, July 23 – Sunday, July 29, 2018. Features and attractions include air shows and aircraft neighborhoods where you can check out full assortments of plane types and styles. Plus, there’s KidVenture for the young ones, the Aviators Club, Aviation Gateway Park, the Pathways Pavilion, and more.

Plenty of activities run all day. But into the evening, concerts, feature films, and special programs take place to keep the fun going. It’s a full week of camaraderie.

Here’s some video to help get you fully into the spirit!

Be sure to check out the EAA AirVenture Museum while you’re there. Hit I-41, U.S. 45, or Highways 21, 26, 44, 76, or 91 to get you to Oshkosh to take in all the fun of EAA’s AirVenture!

Ticket prices vary, check this out for all the details.

EAA AirVenture Address:

Wittman Regional Airport
525 W. 20th Avenue
Oshkosh, WI 54902
Fly over to for all the info!

Start: July 23, 2018
End: July 29, 2018
Venue: Wittman Regional Airport
Phone: 920-236-4930
525 W. 20th Avenue, Oshkosh, WI, 54902, United States
Cost: 30