/ 11 January Festivals to Attend in Wisconsin

11 January Festivals to Attend in Wisconsin

Wisconsin winters are no joke, and the state surely knows how to celebrate the subzero temperatures and blankets of snow. The season can be beautiful, after all, and it gives us an excuse to sip on some hot cocoa and slip on some cozy hats, scarves and mittens. Check out a few of the upcoming festivals celebrating winter:

  1. Carp Fest (Prairie du Chien)
    Take part in some ice fishing, snowmobiling, sledding, skiing and hiking by torchlight in La Riviere Park, and drop by on New Year’s Eve for snowmobile rides, fireworks, carp sampling, a bonfire, and the unique but beloved Droppin’ of the Carp at midnight. (Dec. 26-31, 2016)
  2. New Year’s Day Parade (Egg Harbor)
    [Photo courtesy of]

    [Photo courtesy of]

    Ring in the New Year in Door County at the annual New Year’s Day parade, whether you’re watching it or joining it (no formal registration is required, so you can hop in with pets, a costume or a decorated car). (Jan. 1, 2017, 1 p.m.)
  3. Winter Festival (La Farge)
    Join in on winter fun in the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, where there are horse-drawn wagon rides, winter games, guided snowshoe and ice-cave hikes and a sled-dog race. (Jan. 7)
  4. Bald Eagle Watching Days (Prairie du Sac)
    Dozens of eagles winter in Prairie du Sac each year to fish the open waters of the Wisconsin River, and during Bald Eagle Watching Days, visitors enjoy Birds of Prey programs, a wildlife photography seminar, guided bus tours, Native American legends and family activities. (Jan. 13-14)
  5. The Big Chill (Racine)
    [Photo courtesy of]

    [Photo courtesy of]

    Witness the 27th Annual Wisconsin State and Midwest Regional Snow Sculpting Championship, or take part in snowboarding and skiing at the Downtown Rail Jam. (Jan. 13-15)
  6. Sleigh & Cutter Rally (Ashland)
    Step into the 19th century at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center where costumed drivers offer rides on antique sleighs. (Jan. 14)
  7. Jack Frost Fest (Spooner)
    [Photo courtesy of Jack Frost Fest]

    [Photo courtesy of Jack Frost Fest]

    This charming western Wisconsin town offers turkey bowling, an antique snowmobile show, minnow races and a fat-bike ride during the annual Jack Frost Fest. (Jan. 14)
  8. Janboree (Waukesha)
    Head to Lowell Park for ice sculpting, trolley rides, a penguin-egg hunt, tobogganing and fireworks. (Jan. 20-22)
  9. Isthmus Beer & Cheese Fest (Madison)
    [Photo by @isthmusbeercheese, Instagram]

    [Photo by @isthmusbeercheese, Instagram]

    Any excuse to get out of the cold and enjoy some beer and cheese, right? Alliant Energy Center: be there or be…cold. (Jan. 21)
  10. Schnee Days (Elkhart Lake)
    Celebrate winter with a colored ice cube hunt and dog sledding, and warm up during the chili cook-off. (Jan. 27-29)
  11. Winter Fest (Wausau)
    [Photo courtesy of Winter Fest]

    [Photo courtesy of Winter Fest]

    Enjoy a ride down the snow slide followed by a horse-drawn wagon ride, ice-skating, ice carving and…wait for it…a mac and cheese contest. (Jan. 28)

Which winter festivals are penciled in on your calendar? Share with us on social media using #DiscoverWisconsin.

Kristen Finstad is a member of the Discover Wisconsin crew. Having grown up in River Falls, attending UW-Stevens Point and now living in Madison, she’s a Wisconsin girl through and through. Watch Discover Wisconsin TV Saturday mornings at 10 on Fox Sports Wisconsin. (Twitter: @DiscoverWI)

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