Sputnik Fest (Virtual for 2020)« 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.
In a typical 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!
Now, this being 2020, Sputnikfest has to go VIRTUAL. It will take place Saturday, September 12, 2020. Get updates and details here.
Get more details here from the Manitowoc/Two Rivers Convention & Visitors Bureau!
Sputnik Fest Address (when it’s not virtual):
Rahr-West Art Museum
610 N. 8th Street (8th & Park, U.S. 10 & Business 42)
Manitowoc, WI 54220