WISCONSIN CRANBERRY FESTIVAL

The month of September sees the start of Harvest Festivals around the world. Traditionally in Europe, farmers celebrated the end of a good harvest and an abundance of food. In America and Canada the Thanksgiving celebrations come in various forms. In Wisconsin, is the world’s largest Cranberry Festival, held in the small town of Warren (50 miles northeast of La Crosse.)

Wisconsin is the largest producer of cranberries in the United States. In September the cranberry crop ripens as the tree foliage turns into its magnificent red and gold glory.

Cranberries are grown in wet and marshy areas known as “Bogs.”  There are banks around the cranberry beds which allow the beds to be filled with water. The berries grow to maturity in 4-5 years.

Join the 100,000 visitors to this fun event. In this article it is impossible to list every attraction. We offer you a taste of this, the world’s largest Cranfest which has something for all members of the family.

Bring your walking shoes! The Farm Market has 100 vendors with fall produce including pumpkins, honey, candy, Amish noodles, fruit and naturally, fresh cranberries.

Visit the Antique and Flea Market and find a hidden treasure on one of the 350 booths.

The Arts and Crafts Show, with its 850 vendors is a great place for early Christmas shopping.

Each year visitors show their skill and creativity in the fun contests and win great prizes. These include, Design the Button, Needlework and Quilt, Biggest Berry, Scarecrow and the Vegetable and Sunflower Contest.

Given the theme of the Fest, a must is a bus tour of the working Cranberry Bogs. Apart from a close-up of this unique system this is a learning experience for all ages and you can purchase your fresh cranberries!

All this strenuous activity will obviously sharpen the appetite. Start your day with pancakes topped (obviously) with cranberry syrup. “Joanies” dinner plate sized cinnamon rolls or cranberry cream puffs which will satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth! There are four food courts to eat your way through.

At the end of the day have a cool drink at The Fire Station and stay for dinner at The Log Building.

The final highlight is the Grand Parade at midday on Sunday, 28 September with the largest Marching Band in Wisconsin and many unusual items such as TJ Howell riding inside his one-wheeled motorcycle, Zoey, the limbo princess and Hillbilly Bob whose 1929 Model Ford makes the Clampitt’s truck look like a limousine.

Warren, Wisconsin in September is an interesting and fun place to be for all the family and a great celebration of Thanksgiving.

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