Tag Archive | Festival

Lake Mills Knickerbocker Ice Festival


Lake Mills sign

2016-Poster Knickerbocker Festival

This was the first time Al and I went to the Knickerbocker Ice Festival in Lake Mills.  We started the fun at Rock Lake by taking a look at Icehenge, a take-off of Stonehenge. We made the mistake of not stopping by right after they finished it in late January, the warm weather over the last 5 days took its toll. Read more about it here.

Ice Henge text IMG_1720

The Fisheree was going on too, somebody was drilling a hole in the ice nearby to fish in. We found a cute fishing shack downtown promoting the Fisheree.

Ice Fisheree Shack

Ice Fisherman IMG_1712

Ice Fishermen at Lake Mills IMG_1710

After visiting Icehenge we went downtown to the square (actually a triangle) to see all the activity going on there.  We could hear the sound of multiple chainsaws as the ice sculptors were making their creations. Lets watch them!

We enjoyed a great lunch at Cafe On the Park, under new ownership as of 2015. They are open 6-2 daily. Al had a prime rib sandwich and I had a breaded chicken sandwich. Delicious!

Cafe on the Park in Lake Mills

Cafe on the Park inside IMG_1818

The park sure was busy by 12:30!

Commons Park gazebo

There was a big ice skating party going on in the park, small children were being pushed in chairs.

Ice Skating party in Lake Mills

There was also target practice with tennis balls for safety. Also to aid the kids to throw snowballs with greater accuracy  🙂

Target Practice IMG_1880

Some other kids were building a wood castle, complete with flags.

Building a castle IMG_1883

It was now 1:00, and it looks like most of the ice sculptures were getting finished. My personal favorite 3 carvings.

Favorite Ice Carvings

The Lewis carving even had little wine bottles, cute!

Ice Wine bottle in Lake Mills

The Eskimo was especially fun, since this one was interactive and we could take a fun selfie with it.

Eskimo Ice Carving selfie

Other ice sculptures of note.

Knickerbocker Ice Sculptures Collage

We had a wonderful time at this festival and got further reinforcement that Wisconsinites love festivals in any setting the whole year around.

I Love Lake Mills

30th Annual International Festival at the Overture Center in Madison


Overture Center and Associated Bank Madison State Street

This was my first time attending this festival (Al couldn’t come) and also my first time going inside the Overture Center of the Arts.  They are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year so it was high time.

The festival began at 10:30 in the morning, opening with Swiss Alphorns, played by two gentlemen from New Glarus. They sound like they are from Switzerland, and have played at this festival the entire 30 years.  We also saw them in the Cheese Days in Monroe parade. Let’s listen in.

Swiss Alphorn players at International Festival

After that spellbinding performance, we enjoyed the Chinese Lion Dance, performed by the Zhong Yi Kung Fu Association.

Chinese Dragon Dance at International festival at Overture Center

Soon after that was a beautiful 45 minute performance by the UW Russian Folk Orchestra in the Capitol Theater.  The Madison Russian School Children’s Choir also performed a cute cat song, sung in Russian!

UW Russian Folk Orchestra in Madison

Here is about half of their performance, including the cat song.

The last performance I saw was Sadira and the Riad Dance Company.  I have been watching them at many festivals over the last 25 years or so.

Sadira and the Riad Dance Company  at International Festival

They also had a photo booth and I couldn’t resist getting in on the act.  My picture will become part of a large mosaic created to celebrate the Overture Center’s 10th anniversary.

Photo Booth Project at Overture Center

International Festival Commemorative Photo 2015

It was a good time and I hope to go again next year. We have overlooked this fine facility for entertainment in our own city and plan on coming here more from now on.   They also have a tour every Saturday at 11, except on days with special events.  The Overture Center also runs Art Fair on the Square in July.

Overture Center at night


Cambridge Fall Festival




Cambridge Fall Festival Collage


Cambridge Fall Fest Schedule

We are back in Cambridge for their Fall Festival since it has been about 14 years since we went.  Lots of fun activities for all. There were craft vendors, this one was a favorite, GET Carving. Artist Glenn Thompson even made a carving during the festival.

GET Carving - Glenn Thompson at Cambridge  Fall Festival


Balloon artists making cute balloons for the kids.

Balloon artists at Cambridge Fall Festival

A petting zoo by the Cambridge FFA.

Petting Zoo by Cambridge FFA at Fall Festival

Scarecrow making contest, very impressive! The pink cowgirl at the top of the page was one of the big winners.

Scarecrows at Cambridge Fall festival

And what is a fall festival without a hayride? We had one, provided by Schuster’s Playtime Farm from nearby Deerfield. Come ride with us!

Schuster's Play Farm hayride at Cambridge Fall festival


We even live entertainment.  Jeff Onsrud of Jeff’s Guitar Clinic in Fort Atkinson played familiar tunes adding a great ambiance to the festival fun! Let’s listen in..

Jeff' Onsrud at Cambridge Fall festival

This great event was sponsored by the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce. We hope to come back next year!

Cambridge downtown


Madison’s Ride the Drive

First Sunday in June, Any Sunday in August Ride drive avatar

Ride the Drive has been a popular event in Madison since August 30,2009.  That was the first one and Madison loved it!  It was inspired by the Ciclovia in Bogota, Colombia. They close some city streets for people to ride their bicycle,  roller skate and use all forms of travel and build a festival around it. In recent years, they have the first one downtown, part of the route going under the Monona Terrace.  People can then look closely at the mural that is under there.  The 2nd one is now in August, rotating to different parts of town.

Ride the Drive Downtown 

Let’s first look at scenes from the June event, the best attended one.  Some funny bikes too, here is a bowling bike. Also a TINY bike.

Bowling bike

Tiny bike

A Penny-Farthing bike.

Penny - Farthing bike

And the best bike of all, The Capitol Pedaler!

Capitol Pedaler

Even a performance by The Greasy Gears!

The Greasy Gears

We continue on to Olin Park, which has a great view of the Madison skyline by Lake Monona and another activity stop. We saw a cool homemade vehicle made by some young guys, cool! I don’t see any pedals on it 🙂

All that riding made us hungry so we had lunch at this cute burger truck on the right, the Slide Food Cart. Great food!  We enjoyed a slider with homemade potato chips, which tasted real great.  For those of you watching your sodium, they are made unsalted!  The also cater and are on Facebook.

Ride the Drive booths

Ride the Drive 2014 vehicle

Slide Food Cart

Slide Food Cart burger and chips

The fun continues down John Nolan Drive, we head toward the Capitol, going under the Monona Terrace.  So much fun! And a final row of booths.

Monona Terrace underpass

Under Monona Terrace

Monona Terrace tunnel

Ride the Drive John Nolan booths

I like this rainbow B-Cycle bike 🙂 The have stations all over Madison to rent a bike.

B-Cycle rainbow bike

Up at the Capitol there are more booths and in the past live music.

Ride the Drive music and Capitol in background

Ride the Drive 2012

Here is one shaped like Wisconsin!

Wisconsin bike

Just Coffee delivers throughout Madison on a special delivery bike.  They sell fair-trade coffee.

Just Coffee delivery bike


Ride the Drive – Northside   8-12-12

This is where we live!  It was so much fun having ride the drive in our own neighborhood.  This is also the first time we got to ride the Capitol Pedaler. We paid only $5 and got a great ride,  plus some pizza and treats to eat!

Capitol Pedaler sign

They took our picture before we got started. I am the 4th on the left, Al is in the far back seat.

Our group

What a great time, and we cheered and waved at people going by. We even sang to the mp3 player they had on board.


Ride the Drive – Eastside  8-24-14

Last year there was a West Side ride but we couldn’t make it. This year the 2nd ride was on the Eastside of Madison. It was a short 2-mile loop that we rode twice. As we approached Fair Oaks, we were serenaded by the Bird Band.

Eastside Ride the DriveBird Band at Ride the Drive

There were two fun stops on the route, Olbrich Park Village and a sandwich board listing all the activities.

Olbrich Village at Ride the Drive Eastside

Olbrich Village Activities at Ride the Drive

Al trying his hand walking on stilts.

Al on stilts at Ride the Drive

The other stop was at O.B. Sherry Park, one we have not been to before.


O.B. Sherry Park at Ride the Drive Eastside

Ride the Drive is such a good time, come if you can. Its fun for the whole family!

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Atwoodfest – Mid-Summer Fun!

4th Weekend in July

Atwood Summerfest banner

The Atwood Summerfest is a popular event, sponsored by the Goodman Community Center in Madison.  The festival is about 3 blocks long on Atwood Ave, and has four music stages to keep fans of many music genres happy.  For the rock crowd, I Am Dragon brought back rock memories of the 80’s and 90’s.

I Am Dragon

The Piper Road Spring Band played toe-tapping country tunes.

The Material Boys

It takes two to tango..

Tango dancing

There are also many vendors selling food and other great items.

Metal rooster

I enjoy stopping at Wildwood Productions to get a t-shirt. They make the shirts for Art Fair on the Square that occurs two weeks before this festival and sell them for about 60% less than at the art fair ($7). I always get one here at this festival.

Wildwood Productions

Atwood Summerfest


This festival is now under new leadership,  and bigger than ever, now spanning tw0 days.  Now 4 music stages, including a kid’s stage. Be sure to visit their sponsors 🙂

Atwoodfest music lineup 2014

We really enjoyed Mighty Wheelhouse and their performance.  As an encoré, they came off the stage and really interacted with the audience. So much fun. Check their schedule for their next performance, which are frequent in the Madison area! Here is one of the songs they performed.

Mighty Wheelhouse at Atwoodfest 2014

Bring the whole family to the Atwoodfest to enjoy Madison in midsummer.

Pardeeville Watermelon Festival

First Saturday in September

Pardeeville Watermelon Festival signBig watermelon sign

It was my first time attending the Pardeeville Watermelon festival and it sure was fun!  The local people are friendly and I sure felt like one that day.  Photographer Mark D. Taylor and I hit it off right away. He assisted in many of the events at the festival.   This festival is full of great kid-activities. There is a hay dive, kids search a big pile of hay for prize tokens.

Hay Dive at Pardeeville Watermelon Festival 2013

Wayne the Wizard entertained also, mixing fun tricks with science. There were many more games too.

Wayne the Wizard

There was lots of free watermelon (donations accepted!) provided by Alsum Farms and Produce. Yum!

Alsum Watermelon

There was a watermelon carving contest too.  This Viking ship and shark were quite cute!

Watermelon Viking shipWatermelon shark

There was also a watermelon seed spitting contest, as well as speed eating by all age groups.  Both are officially sanctioned contests.

Watermelon Seep-spitting and Speed Eating records

Low flying seedsWatermelon Seed Spitting

Watermelon Speed Eating

There were also many vendors selling great watermelon crafts.  Wesleyan Bible church sold these cute watermelon necklaces. Picket Fence Boutique had these cute visors and fly swatters.

Watermelon crafts-Picketfenceboutiquewatermelon necklace

Local groups participate in making the festival a great success. Concessions were provided by the Pardeeville EMS.  Another group is the Pardeeville Cub Scouts. They participate in July 4 events as well.  They are always looking for new members. Call Adam Milkowski at 608-617-0580 or email ammilkowski@gmail.com if you are interested.

This was a great festival, I hope to go next year!

Watermelon Festival 2014

The Willy Street Fair-Summer’s Last Hurrah!

3rd Weekend in September

Willy St Fair 2013100_5740

This is the 4th and  last festival of the summer in this near-east side part of Madison. It’s sponsored by Commonwealth Development and Wilmar Neighborhood Center.

Many consider this one to be the best,including myself. It occupies several blocks of Williamson (Willy) street and is full of vendors, three stages and lots of happy people.  My first one was in 1997, two months after I met my husband.

It begins on Saturday, occupying one block. Sunday is the big day, three blocks of fun!  The parade is at 11:00, come watch last year’s parade.

You need to get a t-shirt too, it supports the fair and neighborhood. They are made by Wildwood Productions.

Willy Street Fair shirts

The balloon arch over the street is a staple at the fair. It’s the gateway to fun!

Willy St. Fair Balloon Arch

Interesting people and dogs.



And don’t forget the many creative costumes!  “Fish Guy”

Willy St. Fair 2009 fish costumespace alien

This was in 2011, we were all caught up in the fantasy of the moment.  This character pretended to “capture” this girl. Surprised mom below.

Willy Street Fair 2011 costumes

Willy St. Fair 2011 girl back with mom

Sunday is the big parade, even more costumes and it feels like Mardi Gras!  Jim Wildeman’s Bubble Mobile is a staple at the fair also. And the Wacky Wheeler. Here is some more coverage of the 2012 Fair.

BubblemobileJim Wildeman's Bubblemobile

Wacky Wheeler Willy Street Fair

Fat Pinky Glass puts on an impressive glass-blowing demo while a large crowd looks on.

glass blowing





We went to the fair this year on a Sunday.  Sunday is our favorite day to go because of the exciting parade.  Participants include business on the street, along with regular people just wanting to be part of it all! You can watch the parade below. And yes, “Fish Guy” was in it, asking for worms 🙂


After the parade we enjoyed the entertainment up and down Willy St.  This year there was also a biggest pumpkin/watermelon competition.  The Bubble Mobile® always has a throng of people around it. It is the only day out of the whole year we see this magnificent car! See this and more in the video below.

I barely scratched the surface of all the fun at this fair.   Lots of live music also with three stages on Sunday, one on Saturday. To really end summer right, this the fair to go to!