Wisconsin. From ice fishing to interior design, and from mushers to music-makers, Wisconsin winter celebrants have lots to celebrate at this time of year.
Best of all, many of these special events are actually improved by the big blizzard and wild winter weather that has swept through the American Midwest.
What will Badger State folks do this weekend, as the Chinese New Year Opens?
Take a look at some of the highlights across Wisconsin for February 7-10.
These weekend recreational and educational events are listed alphabetically by title. Event specifics may be subject to change, for possible inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances, so attendees are wise to call ahead before traveling.
Cruiserfest – Minocqua
Running from Friday, February 8, through Saturday, February 9, this midwinter festival boasts a bundle of activities for folks of all ages. Highlights include bikini races, a bonfire, a brat and chili feed, pancake breakfast, radar runs, a silent auction, a snowmobile parade and rides, a spaghetti feed, vintage cruiser displays, and a Saturday night dance. (Contact: 715-356-5266.)
Garden Expo – Madison
Plant experts offer seminars and instructional sessions, and bunches of floral design and horticultural vendors display their wares at the Alliant Energy Center in this three-day extravaganza, running from February 9 through 10. The Garden Expo is presented by Wisconsin Public Television and the University of Wisconsin Extension/Cooperative Extension Horticulture Team. (Contact: 608-267-3976.)
La Crosse Boat, Sports, Travel, RV and Hunting Show – La Crosse
This 36th annual expo for outdoorsmen takes place in the La Crosse Auditorium from February 7 to 10. Displays include boats, camping equipment, docks, hunting goods, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, travel trailers, and tons of other technologies and supplies for outdoor recreation. (Contact: 952-431-9630.)
Milwaukee/NARI Spring Home Improvement Show – West Allis
Homeowners and home shoppers peruse more than 700 displays of home improvement, remodeling and interior design products, services, and trends in this four-day expo, continuing until February 10. Local and national home project experts present on a host of topics. (Contact: 414-771-4071.)
Norse Afternoon of Fun – Stoughton
Vikings gather, as Norwegian Dancers perform ethnic numbers in authentic Norse costumes on Sunday, February 10. Additional festivities include a bake sale, live music, a raffle, and cultural refreshments. (Contact: 608-877-5600.)
Polar Plunge for Special Olympics – Various Cities
The 2013 Polar Plunge: Freezin’ for a Reason makes a splash on February 9 in Kenosha, Madison, and Menomonee. Hearty souls follow up on February 10 in Muskego. These midwinter outdoor swims benefit Special Olympics of Wisconsin. Additional events are set for February 16 in Wausau and Whitewater, February 23 in Green Bay, February 24 in Eau Claire, and March 2 in La Crosse and Milwaukee. (Contact: 608-222-1324.)
Sturgeon Stampede – Fond du Lac
Hardy outdoors enthusiasts aim for Lake Winnebago for bonfires, broomball, ice bowling, ice sailing, ice skating, stupid human tricks contest, and a sturgeon fishing event in this weekend-long winter fiesta. The sturgeon spearing season opens February 9, continuing through February 24. (Contact: 920-922-2550.)
Winter Day in the Park - Columbus
Firemans Park hosts the popular annual Columbus Sleigh Rally on February 9, with horse-drawn sleds of all sizes and shapes, as the main attraction of this family festival. Offered by the Wisconsin State Horse Council, Winter Day in the Park also offers an Abe Lincoln speech contest, bob sled rides, a chili contest, a model horse show, photography displays, a silent auction, and other highlights. (Contact: 608-444-5333.)
Winter Festival / Three Bear Winter Sled Dog Races – Land o’ Lakes
Mushers and merrymakers converge on Vilas County for two days of sled dog racing, winter games, and a craft and flea market. The Mushers Ball returns on Saturday, February 9, with attendees putting on the dog to suit up for the occasion. (Contact: 715-547-3541.)
Winterfest – Wausau
On February 9, this Marathon County community presents a chili contest, a giant grub fest, horse-drawn wagon rides, ice skating, live music, a rail jam, Team USA snow sculpting, winter crafts, and tons of other draws. (Contact: 715-843-0748.)