"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 :)
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.
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.
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!
The park sure was busy by 12:30!
There was a big ice skating party going on in the park, small children were being pushed in chairs.
There was also target practice with tennis balls for safety. Also to aid the kids to throw snowballs with greater accuracy 🙂
Some other kids were building a wood castle, complete with flags.
It was now 1:00, and it looks like most of the ice sculptures were getting finished. My personal favorite 3 carvings.
The Lewis carving even had little wine bottles, cute!
The Eskimo was especially fun, since this one was interactive and we could take a fun selfie with it.
Other ice sculptures of note.
We had a wonderful time at this festival and got further reinforcement that Wisconsinites love festivals in any setting the whole year around.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Balloon artists making cute balloons for the kids.
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.
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.
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.
I like this rainbow B-Cycle bike 🙂 The have stations all over Madison to rent a bike.
Up at the Capitol there are more booths and in the past live music.
Here is one shaped like Wisconsin!
Just Coffee delivers throughout Madison on a special delivery bike. They sell fair-trade coffee.
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!
They took our picture before we got started. I am the 4th on the left, Al is in the far back seat.
What a great time, and we cheered and waved at people going by. We even sang to the mp3 player they had on board.
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.
There were two fun stops on the route, Olbrich Park Village and a sandwich board listing all the activities.
Al trying his hand walking on stilts.
The other stop was at O.B. Sherry Park, one we have not been to before.
Ride the Drive is such a good time, come if you can. Its fun for the whole family!
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.
There are also many vendors selling food and other great items.
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.
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 🙂
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.
Bring the whole family to the Atwoodfest to enjoy Madison in midsummer.
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.
Wayne the Wizard entertained also, mixing fun tricks with science. There were many more games too.
There was a watermelon carving contest too. This Viking ship and shark were quite cute!
There was also a watermelon seed spitting contest, as well as speed eating by all age groups. Both are officially sanctioned contests.
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.
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 email@example.com if you are interested.
This was a great festival, I hope to go next year!
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.
The balloon arch over the street is a staple at the fair. It’s the gateway to fun!
Interesting people and dogs.
And don’t forget the many creative costumes! “Fish Guy”
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.
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.
Fat Pinky Glass puts on an impressive glass-blowing demo while a large crowd looks on.
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!