Get Out of Here
Your guide to the best summer events around Wisconsin
May 20-23 and
Golf Academy for Women
Wine and cheese? Yoga?
Spa? Championship golf? It’s all there at the Kohler Golf
Academy for Women. Play
the Blackwolf Run Championship Course, which will be the site of the 2012 U.S.
Women's Open. Contact: (920) 565-6075
LZ Lambeau: Welcome Home Vietnam Vets
statewide effort to recognize Wisconsin’s
Vietnam War veterans includes speakers, the Vietnam Moving Wall exhibit,
military displays and more. Free for Vietnam and Vietnam-era veterans,
$10 for the public. The “She 5” all-girl band that toured Vietnam in 1968
reunites for the first time since the 1960s. Contact: (920) 494-3401 or
More than 1,000 antique and collector vehicles, a
car corral with cars for sale, a swap meet, entertainment and great food. Free. Contact: (800)
223-3557 or www.wisdells.com.
The World’s Largest Brat Fest
19 miles of brats sold in 2009, an estimated 208,752 sausages. Oscar Mayer
Wienermobile, music, kayaking, midway, celebrity cashiers and delicious brats.
Johnsonville Brats $1.50. Have a double! Friday through Sunday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.,
Monday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Willow Island at Alliant
Free admission and parking. Contact: (608) 276-9797 or www.bratfest.com.
Burlington Chocolate Festival
of the best chocolate extravaganzas in the country. Includes a carnival,
entertainment, chocolate creations, chocolate tasting, chocolate Olympics, a
parade, chocolate eating contest and chocolate chef demonstrations. On the
ChocolateFest Grounds. Contact: 262-763-3300 or www.chocolatefest.com.
22nd Annual Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival
lovers will have three days of fun, including a cheese breakfast, parade,
cheese-carving demonstrations, a cheesecake contest and cheese tasting.
Contact: (920) 788-7390 or www.littlechutewi.org.
Racine and Kenosha
Wright and Like 2010
opportunities to tour unique architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright and other
influential architects in Racine and Kenosha. Advance tickets
are highly recommended. Contact: (608) 287-0339 or www.wrightinwisconsin.com.
Cows on the Concourse
cows kick off June Dairy Month on the Capitol
Square. Get close to cows and calves, enjoy
grilled cheese sandwiches, ice-cold milk and cream puffs and talk to experts.
From 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Contact: (608) 310-5335 ext. 23 or www.danecountydairy.com.
June 6 and 13
Feet, Seat and Eat Spring Walk and Cruise Tours
the 8-mile trail from Lake Geneva to Williams
Bay, then take a seat for
a narrated lunch cruise. See multimillion-dollar estates, exquisite gardens and
Geneva Lake. Starts at 8:30 a.m.; ticket: $49; reservations
required. Contact: (800) 558-5911 or www.lakegenevacruiseline.com.
Prairie du Chien
Prairie Villa Rendezvous
travel to the early 1800s, Wisconsin’s
fur trading days. Re-enactments include demonstrations of crafts, artwork,
skills and traditions. Shop the Voyageurs Marketplace for crafts and trade
goods. More than 400 lodges and tepees. Contact: (608) 822-6916 or
Bucyrus 200/NASCAR Nationwide Series
racing presented by Menards on the internationally acclaimed 4-mile Road
America Track on Saturday. Sunday races include the TransAm and Playboy Mazda
MX-5 and Mid-American Stock Cars. Contact: (800) 365-RACE (7223) or
Prairie du Sac
Prairie Fumé Picnic Days at Wollersheim Winery
historic winery. Music by Streetlife, wine tasting, guided winery tours and
food. Family friendly. Free admission. Contact: (800) VIP-WINE or
25th Annual Balloon Rally
hot-air balloons color the skies above the Green County Fairgrounds. Friday
night “glow” at fairgrounds headquarters. Saturday flights and craft fair, car
show and entertainment. Contact: (608) 325-7648 or www.monroechamber.org.
July 3 (Rain date July 5)
Rhythm and Booms Fireworks Extravaganza
This awesome all-day fest offers music, food and a
35-minute radio-synchronized fireworks display with 15,000 shells. One of the
largest fireworks displays in the Midwest. Free.
Warner Park. Contact: (608) 833-6717
38th Iola Old Car Show and Swap Meet
granddaddy of classic car shows. More than 2,500 fine vehicles on display and a
swap meet with 4,300 vendors. Find all kinds of car bits and pieces. This
year’s theme: “Sensational Sixties.” Contact: (715) 445-4000 or
Art Fair On and Off the Square
500 artists cover eight blocks around Wisconsin’s
Capitol. Art Fair On the Square is one of the largest and most popular juried
fairs in the Midwest. Another 140 Wisconsin artists are featured in Art Fair Off the
Square. Contact: (608) 257-0158 or www.mmoca.org or (608)
Kohler International Challenge—Vintage Races
champion Brian Redman hosts the world’s finest vintage race cars on one of the
world’s most spectacular road circuits. Ten race groups and 30 classes compete
on the 4-mile track. Visit downtown Elkhart
Lake to see cars on
display (free) on Friday and Saturday nights. Contact: (800) 365-7223 or
Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show
wild and wooly re-enactment of the famous Western show features cowboy trick
riding, roping, shooting and an Annie Oakley shooting exhibition at Circus
World. Contact: (608) 356-8341 or www.circusworldmuseum.com.
July 26-Aug. 1
EAA AirVenture 2010
mechanical that flies may show up for AirVenture, one of the greatest aviation
gatherings in the world. See thousands of airplanes: home-built, antique,
passenger jets, cargo planes and ultra-lights. Daily air shows feature
Warbirds, home-builts and aerobatic exhibitions. EAA celebrates the 75th
anniversary of the DC-3 with some 25 planes, likely the last time this many
will ever fly together. The legendary rock group Chicago performs July 26.
Contact: (920) 426-4800 or www.airventure.org.
Packers Training Camp
of the best Packer football action is free. Come to training camp workouts and
watch preseason team drills (the full schedule will be released later this
summer). Packer fans from around the world line the fences of Clarke Hinkle
Field, east of Lambeau Field, to get an up-close look at favorite veterans, stars
and rookies as they work to become a team of champions. Contact: (920) 569-7500
Wisconsin State Fair
cream puffs, Percherons, cotton candy, Hampshire lambs, dairy queens, racing
pigs, rock bands, Tilt-O-Whirl, 200 food vendors, 700 exhibitors, a midway of
raging hormones—and more. Many events say they’ve got something for everybody,
but the State Fair delivers. Contact: (800) 884-FAIR (3247) or
92nd PGA Championship
of the four most prestigious annual professional golf tournaments, the PGA
Championship returns to Whistling Straits on the shore of Lake Michigan north
of Sheboygan. The world’s premier players compete for the Wanamaker Trophy on
Pete Dye’s spectacular and challenging course. Tickets are on sale now. New for
2010: Each ticketed adult may bring in four juniors (17 and under) free.
Contact: (920) 565-4300 or www.pga.com/pgachampionship/2010.
Baylake Bank Tall Ship Festival
Bay is one of only six ports in North America to host the 2010 Tall Ship
Festival. Experience maritime life during tours and sailings on 12 vintage
vessels, including Wisconsin’s own schooner, S/V Denis Sullivan. Contact: (920) 497-5664 or
Mineral Point-Blue Mounds-Madison
Bike Race and Ride
Aug. 28 a spectacular 75-mile off-road race “The Unnamed Epic” will bring up to
800 riders to a major national biking event starting in Mineral Point and
running across steep, rugged terrain in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area to Blue
Mounds. This area was included in the 2016 Chicago Olympic bid. On Sunday
everyone is invited to Madison to Ride the Drive (scenic John Nolen Drive along
Lake Monona through downtown Madison) with Lance Armstrong. “Epic” contact: 431-0559 ext. 16 or www.unnamedepic.com; “Ride” contact: (608)
266-6517 or www.cityofmadison.com/transportation/ridethedrive/about.cfm.
Prairie du Sac
Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw
a chip and let ’er fly! The men’s record (Greg Neumaier, 1991) is 248 feet. The
women’s record (Terry Wallschlaeger, 2005) is 157 feet. Contact: (608) 643-4317
Dairyland Surf Classic
City, here we come! Sheboygan, aka “The Malibu of the Midwest,” has hosted
freshwater surfing events for 22 years. Surfing competition is Saturday and
Sunday mornings with music, food and family festivities all week. Contact:
(800) 689-0290 or www.visitsheboygan.com.
every two years, this amazing celebration features everything cheese and the
rich Swiss heritage of Green County. Sample cheeses, hear Swiss Alphorns and
bells, see a Swiss fashion show, join a cooking class and watch the huge parade
(Sunday at 12:30 p.m.). What a great way to wrap up summer and get ready for
the harvest season! Contact: (608)
325-7771 or www.cheesedays.com.
Gary Knowles is a Madison-based travel writer and author of The Great Wisconsin Touring Book: 30 Spectacular Auto Tours.