"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 :)
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!
No visit to Shawano is complete without a visit to Sundrop University, home of Twig’s beverage and Sundrop Citrus Soda. Not only can you buy the soda right here (as well as in grocery stores), you can tour their museum. It looks bigger on the inside than the outside. Give yourself at least 2 hours to explore.
Inside the lobby when you walk in the museum begins. There is so much to see here.
There is also a small movie theater that shows the history of Sundrop and Trig’s. Very interesting. We recorded it to show it to you.
A peek inside the warehouse, you can’t go in.
There is so much to see here, so many artifacts of Trig’s are preserved and in fine condition.
Belly up to the “bar” for some Sundrop flavor samples, yum!
Don’t forget to stop in the gift shop, bring home a great memento of your visit! I picked up a beautiful mug by Sunset Hill Stoneware, great for drinking your Sundrop soda in!
A must-see in Shawano, Sundrop is a fun place to visit!
Enjoy the ride to Shawano, plenty to see on the way!
Shawano is located in Shawano County, Barn Quilt Capitol of Wisconsin. The city has a population of 9,305 and has plenty to offer.
Stop by the Chamber of Commerce on Hwy. 22, close to the barn sign above. Read the visitor guide here and/or have them send you one before you come to visit! We got a lot of great info here. The goldfish in the tank at the Chamber has a story of his own. It was originally put into the tank as food but it decided it wasn’t going to be food. Cute fish, also quite large at about 3 inches long!
Since it is hard to see all the barn quilts in one trip, we picked up the book “The Barn Quilts of Shawano County Wisconsin”. It costs $15 and a great memento of our visit. Buy the book here. Learn more about the Barn Quilt Project.
We also noticed that fudge is popular here, just like on Mackinac island. We got some at Old Glory Candy just off Main St. Lots of old-fashioned favorites here, friendly staff too!
Visit the Veteran’s Memorial on the Courthouse grounds.
Shawano has some beautiful parks to visit as well. Launch your boat or fish at Huckleberry Harbor, on the banks of the Wolf River. See this and other parks on this map you can print. There is a windmill there too. It was repainted in 2015, great job!
Spirit of Shawano Park at the intersection of Main and Green Bay Street greet people with metal sculptures representing various industry in the area.
Another great place is Sturgeon Park. This is the epicenter of Sturgeon spawing in Shawano. They usually spawn in May.
Record-size Sturgeon have been caught here. This Stella, caught in 2012.
The water pouring over the dam, intensified by frequent rains.
On Sundays there is also a great Farmers Market here, we stopped by and found a great variety of items for sale. It’s at Franklin Park.
The market’s first year was 2007 and has been a great success in the community. Learn more about it below.
We took a stroll through the market too, take a look!
Pay a visit to Heritage Park and Sunset Island too. It was not open since the season had ended, but you could still walk the grounds. The Shawano County Historical Society produced a video of the historical village. Hopefully we can make it back in 2017 and be here when it’s open!
We may have been too late to explore this place in further detail, but we were right on time for the Shawano Octoberfest. Lots of music and fall crafts to be had here!
Shawano is also home to Sundrop™ soft drink, we also enjoyed a self-guided tour at Sundrop University™, the factory in town. This vending machine is downtown if you need your Sundrop fix!