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Sputnik Fest

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Sputnik Fest
September 9, 2023
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Rahr-West Art Museum
May 17, 2015
Rahr-West Art Museum
610 N. 8th Street, Manitowoc, WI, 54220, United States
Wisconsin Weekend: Sputnikfest celebrants

Sputnik Fest logoManitowoc 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.

Sputnik crash site, center of Sputnik Fest
Circle marks the spot where a piece of Sputnik landed. It’s the whole reason for Sputnik Fest.

Sputnik Fest, recreation of where cops stoodThe landing site of that piece of Sputnikfest – which inspired this whole thing – 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 Bazooka Joe add to the fun! Family fun continues with the Cosmic Kids Creation Station, which offers tye-dye, clay painting, and rocket building, plus live statues, portrait paintings, and more.

Sputnikfest Schedule of Events:

11:00-2:00PM      DJ
11:30AM              Photo Op with Sputnikfest Police (courtesy of the Masquers theater company)
12:00-5:00PM      Art Space and Children’s Games
12:00-Noon          5K Art Walk/Run https://runsignup.com/Race/WI/Manitowoc/Sputnikfest5KWalkRun
1:00-3:00PM         Meet and Greet with 501st Wisconsin Garrison
12:00PM               Lakeshore 1st Robotics
2:00-6:00PM         Musical entertainment by XPOSED 4 HEADS

Get more details here from the Manitowoc/Two Rivers Convention & Visitors Bureau!

Sputnikfest Address:

Rahr-West Art Museum
610 N. 8th Street (8th & Park, U.S. 10 & Business 42)
Manitowoc, WI 54220

Manitowoc & Two Rivers CVB


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