Fall Wisconsin Festivals in 2016
Check out our list of Wisconsin fall festivals to find ways to celebrate the harvest before cold weather dominates. We currently have more than 40 options for fall fun, so you are practically guaranteed to find some things to do near Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay and Eau Claire in September and October 2016. It would be hard to top Oktoberfest in Wisconsin, but some of these events might give the German festivals a run for their money.
We hope you enjoyed last year’s list. We will be updating this information for 2016 over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
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Central Wisconsin State Fair – Marshfield, WI – Aug 31 – September 5, 2016. So much more than an annual state fair. Midway carnival rides, draft horse show, tractor pull, demolition derby and more. Located at the Central Wisconsin State Fairgrounds at 513 East 17th Street, Marshfield, Wisconsin.
Milwaukee Rally – Sept 1-5, 2016
Wisconsin Highland Games – Waukesha – Sept 2-4, 2016
It’s a weekend of affordable Celtic fun for the entire family during the athletic competition.
Willhelm Tell Festival – New Glarus, WI – September 2-4, 2016. New Glarus has paid tribute to the Swiss archer on stage for more than 78 years. Features a children’s lantern parade, art show, live music, savory music and street dance. Held annually at the William Tell Grounds, W5199 W, New Glarus, Wisconsin.
Jonesfest Music Festival – Kennan, WI – Sept 3, 2016
Bring your loan chairs as musical acts raise money for a music scholarship offered to a Phillips High School senior.
Third Ward Art Festival – Milwaukee – Sept 3-4, 2016
Art for all ages with demonstrations, children’s activities, live music and 140+ juried artists.
Kites Over Lake Michigan – Two Rivers, WI – Sept 3-4, 2016
Taste of Madison – Madison, WI – September 3-4, 2016. The city’s annual Labor Day weekend event. Three stages of live music, food from more than 50 restaurants and food trucks, and other activities. Located all around Capitol Square, Madison, Wisconsin.
Yellow Phone Music Conference – Milwaukee – Sept 8-11, 2016
A four day gathering of talented artists and music professionals.
Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival – Edgerton, WI – September 8-11, 2016. Wool classes, sheep shearing demos, country store and more. Located at the Jefferson County Fair Park, Jefferson, Wisconsin. For additional information call 960-674-7148.
Seafood Fest – Menasha, WI – September 9-10, 2016. A two day community event sponsored by Menasha Rotary Club, Neenah Rotary Club, and the Fox Cities Morning Rotary Club. Lobster, crab leg and salmon dinners. Live music at night. Entry is absolutely free. Located at Jefferson Park in Menasha, Wisconsin.
SputnikFest – Manitowoc, WI – September 9-10, 2016. The event celebrates the landing of a 20 pound piece of Russian Sputnik IV on September 5, 1962. Readers Digest called it one of the Top Five Funkiest Festivals. Festival is located at the corner of N. 8th and Park Streets in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
Indian Summer Festival – Sept 9-11, 2016
An American Indian ethnic festival at the Summerfest Grounds the weekend after Labor Day each year.
Platteville Dairy Days – Platteville, WI – September 9-11, 2016. An annual celebration for well over 65 years. Held at Legion Field with lots of food, music, 4-H and FFA exhibits, a parade and lots more.
Indian Summer Festival – Milwaukee, WI – September 9-11, 2016. Located at Henry Maier Festival Park at 200 North Harbor Drive, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It features native dance, live music, cooking demonstrations, hoop dancers, boxing, lacrosse tournament, and so much more.
Chilimania – Edgerton, WI – September 10, 2016. A chili cooking contest and salsa contest that has been going on for more than 25 years. It features a morning 5k run-walk, Dixie Band, various contests and of course great good.
Apple Dumpling Days – Elroy, WI – September 10, 2016. Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K and two kid’s races are held the first Saturday after Labor Day. Event is hosted by the Elroy Lions Club.
Cheese and Sausage Fall Family Fest – New London, WI – September 10, 2016. Held throughout downtown New London. It features a car and cycle cruise down North Water Street, a kids zone, clowns, fire truck displays, and live music. Also a popular 3 on 3 Basketball tournament.
Thirsty Troll Brew Fest – Mount Horeb, WI – September 10, 2016. Held at Grundahl Park, 401 Blue Mounds Street, Mount Horeb, Wisconsin. Beer sampling features 25 craft brewers serving over 100 different beers. Masskrugstemmen Troll Strength Competition. An annual event held every year on the 2nd Saturday of September.
Taste of Lake Geneva – Lake Geneva, WI – September 10, 2016. Held at Flat Iron Park with wines from Studio Winery and local beers. Enjoy the live music and jazz banks along with local restaurant food choices.
Fondue Fest – Fond du Lac, WI – September 10, 2016. More than 20,000 annually enjoy this event dedicated to cheese and chocolate fondue. 9th annual event. Admission is free.
Uptown Ford Lincoln Frank Mots International Kite Festival – Milwaukee, WI – September 10-11, 2016. An annual event held for more than 37 years. Located at Veterans Park on Milwaukee’s Lakefront. They expect more than 600 kites
Oconomowoc Fall Festival – Oconomowoc, WI – September 10, 2016
Mexican Independence Festival – Milwaukee, WI – September 11, 2016. Festival features clowns, parade, carnival rides, Mexican music, games, face painting, community exhibits, crafts, foods, and merchandise.
Amery Fall Festival – Amery, WI – September 15-18, 2016. The 67th anniversary featuring a grand parade, arts and crafts, food stands, kids and adult carnival rides, skill tournaments, toy show and pancake breakfast. Most events held near Michael Park.
Blair Cheese Fest – Blair, WI – September 15-18, 2016. Features great music, food, games, parade, tractor pulls, cheese chase run, swap meet and more.
Wet Whistle Wine Fest – Algoma, WI – September 16-17, 2016. 2,000 visitors enjoy the grape stomp and award winning wines at Von Stiehl Winery. Features heritage foods, fine art, live music, and more. Held annually at 115 Navarino Street, Algoma, Wisconsin.
Wo-Zha-Wa Days Fall Fest – Wisconsin Dells – September 16-18, 2016. A harvest festival with parade, antique flea market, arts & crafts, and Wisconsin’s oldest long distance race. Activities throughout downtown Wisconsin Dells and Bowman Park. Enjoy live entertainment, a 100 unit parade, and more.
Egg Harbor AleFest – Egg Harbor, WI – September 17, 2016. Enjoy 100+ craft beers from 40 different brewers. Event runs from 1 to 5 PM with early admission to VIP guests. Live music by the O2M Band. Held in Harbor View Park at 7809 Wisconsin Highway 42, Egg Harbor, Wisconsin.
Apple Harvest Fest – Waukesha County – September 17, 2016
The Retzer Nature Center hosts visitors for delicious apple treats, apple pie baking contest, scarecrow contest, hayrides, music, arts/crafts and children’s activities.
Bay View Bash – Sept 17, 2016
12th annual community festival. All-volunteer.
Rock the Green – Sept 17, 2016
A near zero waste music festival.
Great Lakes BrewFest – Racine, WI – September 17, 2016. Southeast Wisconsin’s Largest Beer Event with Unlimited Sampling of more than 400 Beers, Ciders and Meads. Held at Racine Zoo.
Harvest Festival and Street Art Auction – Sturgeon Bay – September 17, 2016. Vintage car show, live entertainment, shopping, children’s activities, and more at the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center at 36 S. Third Avenue in downtown Sturgeon Bay.
Maple Fall Fest – Marshfield, WI – September 17-18, 2016. Handmade craft items. Petting zoo and inflatables for children. Located at Wildwood Park, 1800 S. Roddis Avenue., Marshfield, Wisconsin.
Willy Street Fair – Madison, WI – September 17-18, 2016. Warm-up, parade and fair with 8 stages, 35 performances and 150+ vendors. It covers 3 community blocks starting on the 900 block of Williamson Street, Madison, Wisconsin.
Cedarburg Wine & Harvest Festival – Cedarburg, WI – September 17-18, 2016. Arts & crafts, homegrown produce and artisan food, plus the award-winning wines of Cedar Creek Winery, Scarecrow Contest, Giant Pumpkin weigh-off. Live music with Top Forty, Folk and Rock & Roll bands. Giant Pumpkin Charity Regatta. Kids’ corner with pumpkin painting, magician and clown. Free admission. Events are held throughout the historic downtown area.
Cable Area Fall Festival – Cable – September 23-24, 2016. Fall Harvest Dessert Contest, Beer & Wine Garden, Pumpkin Pecan Pancake Breakfast, Art & Craft, Zip Line, Cooking Demos, Bounce Houses, Classic Car & Truck Show, and Live Music. Held annually the last weekend in September.
Gays Mills Apple Festival – Gays Mills, WI – September 23-25, 2016. The 58th annual event features parades, carnivals, arts & crafts, flea markets, music, dancing, food & festivities. Activities held at various venues in the Village of Gays Mills, Wisconsin.
Warrens Cranberry Festival – Warrens, WI – September 23-25, 2016. Cranfest can draw around 100,000 to the world’s largest cranberry festival. It has been going on for more than 40 years. It is always held the last full weekend in September. Features three days of activities including parade, marching bands, marsh tours, food, contests, and over 1300 booth for shopping.
Hayward Fall Festival – Hayward, WI – September 24, 2016. A fall tradition held in downtown Hayward. It features live music, farmer’s market, arts and craft booths, great food and more.
Petfest – Milwaukee – Sept 24, 2016
Bring your dog/cat to Henry Maier Festival Park.
Hayward Fall Festival – Hayward, WI – September 24, 2016
An annual fall celebration with fine arts & crafts booths, food vendors, and live music on Main Street.
Harvest Fest – Green Lake, WI – September 24-25, 2016. A two day celebration with thousands attending. Expect over one hundred artist and crafters, local farmers, signature restaurants, classic cars, family activities and of course live entertainment.
Stone Lake Cranberry Festival – Stone Lake, WI – Sept 29 – October 1, 2016. Join over 30,000 guests for a day of fun and festivities. See over 300 vendors and artisans, great food, parade, and baking contests.
Thorp Pumpkin Fest – Thorp, WI – October 1, 2016. Entertainment and fun in downtown Thorp with 130 vendor booths, food, crafts, and fall produce. An annual event for 20 years.
Eagle River Cranberry Fest – Eagle River, WI – October 1-2, 2016. Eat, drink, and play with the more than 40,000 attendees of this annual event held at Riverview Park. Taste the world’s largest cranberry cheesecake. Also hundreds of crafters and artisans.
Bayfield Apple Festival – Bayfield, WI – October 7-9, 2016. USA Today called it one of the 10 best specialty food festivals in the nation. 50,000 annually attend this event which has been going on for 54 years. Features a Grand Parade, countless booths with fresh foods, and so much more fresh air fun. Located at the Bayfield Lakeside Pavilion.
Audubon Days – Mayville, WI. – October 7-9, 2016
Grafton Pumpkin Festival – Grafton, WI – October 8, 2016. Pumpkin carving contest, pumpkin lighting, pancake breakfast and more.
Sister Bay Fall Fest – Sister Bay, WI – October 14-16, 2016. This 70th annual event is considered the “Grandaddy” of Door County festivals. Ping pong ball shoot, classic car show, scavenger hunt, parade, arts & crafts, food, children’s activities and live entertainment.
Wisconsin Dells Autumn Harvest Festival – Wisconsin Dells, WI – October 14-16, 2016. A full range of events including concessions, beer walk, petting zoo, kids activities, magic, and music.
From the Land Festival – Green Lake, WI – October 15-16, 2016
A gathering of traditional crafts and skills with demonstrations.
Kohler Food & Wine Experience – Kohler, WI – October 20-23, 2016. 16th annual four day extravaganza of food, wine, and fun. See complimentary demonstrations and tastings.
Southeastern Wisconsin Festival of Books – Waukesha, WI – Nov 4-5, 2016. Held annually at UW-Waukesha.
Lake Geneva Beer & Spirits Festival – Lake Geneva, WI – November 5, 2016. Enjoy an afternoon of unlimited craft beer and specialty liquor tastings. Good food also.
Big Water Film Festival – Ashland, WI – Nov 9-13, 2016. Held at the Bay Theater. Ticket prices range from $8 per block to $35 for a weekend pass. A great chance to also meet the filmmakers.
Milwaukee Holiday Festival of Lights – Starts Nov 17, 2016
Downtown Baraboo Winter Wine Walk – Baraboo, WI – Nov 18, 2016
Christmas By the Bay – Sturgeon Bay – Nov 18-20, 2016. Annual tree lighting ceremony, holiday parade, Santa brunch and holiday shopping.
Winter Art Fair off the Square – Madison – Nov 19-20, 2016. Features 100+ Wisconsin exhibitors. Saturday silent auction benefits youth scholarship fund. Located at the Monona Terrace Convention Center.
Future Events – 2017
If we find the dates for a festival next fall (September or October 2017) which does not have an event in 2016, we will post them here.
We know that you want current events. But we often don’t have dates for the current year. We leave those events with their link here so that you can look for the new dates yourself. We hope you don’t mind!
PotatoFest – Rhinelander, WI – September 5, 2015.
Whooping Crane Festival – Princeton, WI – September 10-13, 2015. Held at various locations in Green Lake County. Features a weekend of fun with many seminars and events.
Ruffed Grouse Fall Festival – Park Falls, WI – September 12, 2015. Features arts and crafts, hourly draw saw demonstrations, flea market, petting zoo, live music, polka dancing, dog training and various workshops. Held at Triangle Park, 143 S. 3rd Avenue, Park Falls, Wisconsin.
Wisconsin State Chili Cookoff – Green Lake, WI. – September 12, 2015. Once again held in Green Lake at Deacon Mills Park. An annual event held the first Saturday after Labor Day. Features hot chili, live music, and good beer.
Harvest Festival – Lake Tomahawk, WI – September 19, 2015. Sponsored by the Lake Tomahawk Lioness and Lions Clubs. A family event, it was attended by over 2000 last year. The arts & crafts show starts at 9:00 am and runs until 3:00 pm, the car show starts at 10:00 am and runs until 3:00 pm. Held in Snowshoe Park. Food, children’s “pumpkin” decorating.
Trout Festival – Exeland, WI – Sept 4-6, 2015
Lion’s Sturgeon Festival – Jim Park, WI – Sept 4-7, 2015
Fermentation Fest – Reedsburg – October 2-11, 2015. A live culture convergence with classes, tastings, bike tour, art events and more.
Hay Days – Greendale, WI – Oct 3, 2015. Pony rides, hay rides and more with the Greendale Lions Club. Annually held the first Saturday in October around downtown Greendale.
Fall Festival of Color – Lake Mills, WI – October 4, 2015. Enjoy a day of fun at Common Park with over 130 vendors, kids games, artwork, foods, and live music.
Sparta Fall Fest – Sparta, WI. – October 9-12, 2015. Enjoy the pet parade, pie contest and fun for everyone. Held in historic downtown Water Street, Sparta.
Quivey’s Grove Beer Fest – Madison, WI – October 10, 2015. Now held for over 22 years with cold beer, live music, and hot food. Located at 6261 Nesbitt Road, Madison, Wisconsin.
Neshkoro Scarecrow Festival – Neshkoro, Wisconsin – October 10, 2015. Make your own scarecrow and enter it for a $1 registration fee. Arts & craft vendors, farmer’s market, hayrides, petting zoo, pony rides, live music and food vendors. 10 AM to 5 PM. Activities held at Neshkoro Public Library, Main Street, River’s Edge Park, and throughout the downtown area.
Pumpkinfest – Mishicot, WI – October 17, 2015. Enjoy the pancake breakfast, baking contest, pumpkin carving contest, and local entertainment.
Zoo Brew – Milwaukee, WI – October 22, 2015. An annual event held at the Milwaukee County Zoo.
Marijuana Harvest Festival – Madison, WI – October 2-4, 2015
Driftless Film Festival – Mineral Point, WI – Nov 5-9, 2015
Central Wisconsin Film Festival – Stevens Point, Amherst, Plover, Marshfield, Wisconsin Rapids & Wausau – Nov. 6-7, 2015.
Taste of the North – Chippewa Falls, WI – Nov 12, 2015
Find other fun things to do in Wisconsin in October: