"Wisconsin-Happy Festival State", by Eve Phillips. My husband and I love to travel in the state of Wisconsin where we live and get great pictures on the way. My name is Laurie Kutil and photography has become a great passion of mine since 2010. One thing I have learned in researching each town before visiting it is that, "Every town has it's story". When I do uncover those stories by connecting with local residents, our experience becomes so much richer. In turn, sharing the stories with you brings me joy :)
It may be winter outside but inside it’s spring at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. The turnout was high at this popular event. There even was musical accompaniment by the Collage saxophone Quartet. You can hire them to play at your venue!
The Conservatory was inviting with 80ºF temps inside.
Let’s go into the exhibition room, so beautiful!
Large display, so many varieties!
After enjoying these orchids, there was another room with vendors selling them too.
Not only orchids were for sale, also orchid themed mementos. Pictures by Charlotte Fung Miller, Chinese Brush Art.
It has been 5 years since our last visit to Lake Geneva, and Winterfest looked like a lot of fun! Events centered around The Rivera and the road going by the lakefront building. It was a cold, windy and sunny day and there was a large crowd.
View from the balcony.
Adding to the festive mood was music by Lake 96.1, a local radio station. We could hear it throughout the festival because of the speakers placed throughout the snow carving display area.
The snow sculptors were not just locals, they came from all points around the country and even other countries. Lake Geneva is home to the U.S. NATIONAL SNOW SCULPTING COMPETITION. Read more about this event in the official Guide. We were quite impressed with the quality of work.
Enjoy a slide show of the many sculptures that we saw, as well as the other activities.
They were all wonderful, but these were the winners.
Team Wisconsin 2
2nd Place – Team Wisconsin 1
3rd Place – Team Maine
Two activities were enjoyed by people on the lake as well. Snowmobile rides were given.
We also enjoyed lunch at the Paoli Brat and Bread Haus. We had the Chicken Pot Pie, very delicious! We enjoyed the music at The Hop Garden while we ate. The Cherry Pie A la Mode was wonderful too. Owner Cherri Bell makes everyone feel like an old friend upon meeting. Thanks for the great lunch in such a festive atmosphere!
Quite an enjoyable afternoon was had by all, we took a stroll up the street to check out other fall scenes. The Paoli House Inn had many pumpkin sculptures out front.
Gresham is a small close-knit Village of 586 located just northwest of Shawano. On our way home from our visit to Shawano we decided to have a quick lunch here. On the city limits we saw the Miles of Art sign, the event going on this weekend. See the MAP of where art is on display in Shawano County.
Delightful view downtown, their maroon clock sets the scene.
Lunchtime! We heard about this delightful place called Pa’s Ice Cream Shoppe and wanted to try it.
Their menu, how do you choose?
That dipped ice cream cone was amazing. Good thing it was a cool day!
After lunch we looked at some of the other businesses nearby. Shanti’s Art Studio near the clock is across from the ice cream shoppe.
With Halloween on the way, an old building becomes a haunted house called Panic Chambers Hotel. Looks scary!
Shawano really knows how to celebrate autumn with their family-friendly Octoberfest. We didn’t see the parade since we were in Keshena for dinner that night. We were there bright and early on October 1 and enjoyed some Polka music by Polka Dynamics.
Many crafters were selling cute autumn-themed decor too.
A favorite part of the festival were all the scarecrows and decorations on Main Street. Here are some of them!
Wisconsin has some very unique festivals, and this one on Labor day weekend takes the cake, er chip. Wisconsin is America’s Dairyland, and that means we honor the cow the milk she produces, also the products that are made from the milk (i.e. Green County Cheese Days). The Wisconsin Cow Chip Throw festival honors another “product”, the cow pie 🙂 They are flattened into discs and dried, people then throw them as far as possible for prizes. Take a look at some of the cow chip throwing and the craft fair.
This festival is more than cow chip throwing, there is also entertainment, craft show and parade! It’s fun to take a selfie with the big cow!
The wagon filled with cow chips.
Competitor in the Women’s Division, #67. Good form!
Accurate measurement of distance for each throw is very important, Orion Land Surveyors provided these precise measurements.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens is always holding exciting events for the public. 2015 was their first year for GLEAM, a night event featuring art that is illuminated. Here is our visit from last year. We didn’t think they could top that exciting first year, but it seems they did. Monopods are permitted for a steadier shot and also to not get in the way of the other guests.
The route is different than last year, this is the map.
This year they added a cash bar to enhance your stroll through the garden.
We were just amazed by the workmanship and talent of the artists participating this year. You can vote for your favorite after your visit.
We walked through in the daytime also to see what they looked like then. Enjoy the video I made of our visits.
The Fire Monkeys were especially good. Three were in a tree, one was on the edge of a small pond. In the video, you will also hear the jungle sounds that are piped in on a nearby speaker.
Another favorite was “The Soul’s Song” by the family of artist Ted Brusubardis. This is a song of Latvia, a small excerpt is in the video. The name in Latvian is Dvēseles Dziesma. Below is the song in it’s entirety.
The images of the performance is projected onto the back of the waterfall behind the Rose Tower.
The Rose Tower is a beautiful setting for both of the Soul’s Song and Yahara Cloud’s pieces. Inside the tower had a purple light projector.
The view from the tower, breathtaking on this starry night. The streak is an airplane.
See website for more information about this and other events.
Be sure to stop by soon for this wonderful exhibit and bring your friends and family (and your camera)!