Corn on the cob, fresh from the fields, steamed, buttered and salted. Lefse like MorMor used to make. Cheese and more cheese. A beer and a brat. These you will find in the booths and under the tents in festivals across the state, accompanied by bands, fun runs, art fairs, face-painting and the occasional fishing tournament. Have fun! We dare you not to. We recommend confirming event details before making any long drives.
Maple Syrup Festival
April 5, Mackenzie Environmental Education Center, W7303 County Road CS & Q, Poynette
Isthmus a la Carts
May 9, Olin Park, Madison
May 16-18, Stoughton
The 17th of May is Norwegian Constitution Day, but you don't need a Norwegian constitution to enjoy traditional Norwegian food. Look for krumkake, lefse wraps, Norwegian meatballs, sandbakkels and herring. Plus Viking dogs, burgers, cheese curds, pickle on a stick and more. stoughtonwi.com. 608-873-7912.
Morel Mushroom Festival
May 17-18, Muscoda
Muscoda became Wisconsin's Morel Capital in 1982. Instead of spending hours poking under dead leaves for the elusive morsels, head straight to this annual fest. Available fried, or buy a bunch to cook at home. muscoda.com. 608-739-3182.
May 23-26, Festival Grounds, Burlington
World's Largest Brat Fest
May 23-26, Willow Island, Alliant Energy Center, Madison
Brats, including a special Chicken Chipotle Monterey Jack version and a Field Roast Veggie Frankfurter, plus hot dogs, celebrity cashiers and bands, bands, bands. bratfest.com.
May 30-June 1, McKee Farms Park, Fitchburg
Burgers & Brew
4:30-7:30 pm, May 31, Capital Brewery, Middleton
Three locally sourced burgers, paired with three Wisconsin microbrews; $30, to benefit REAP Food Group. reapfoodgroup.org.
Side Pork Fest
May 31, Martin Park, Sturgeon Bay
There's a side pork cook-off, along with bands, kid activities and a fun run. sideporkfest.com.
June 6-7, Mill Pond Park, Osceola
Rhubarb bakeoff on Saturday in the categories of pies, cakes, bars, breads, jam/jellies, cobblers/crisps, cookies and miscellaneous. After judging, all will be sold by the slice to benefit the public library. rhubarbdays.com.
Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival
June 6-8, Doyle Park, Little Chute
In Wisconsin, cheese is for every meal, plus a basis for sculpture. This fest offers cheese carving, a cheese breakfast, a cheese-curd-eating competition and a cheesecake contest. littlechutewi.org. 920-788-7390.
Cows on the Concourse
June 7, Madison
Highland Games/Scottish Fest
9 am-10 pm, June 7, Hart Park, 7300 Chestnut St., Wauwatosa
Vendors usually offer fish and chips, meat pies, sausage rolls and Scotch eggs. You may luck into some authentic haggis. Other fun includes stone putts and the throwing of large objects, piping, dancing and sheepdog demos. milwaukeescottishfest.com. 414-422-9235.
Mad City Vegan Fest
10 am-5 pm, June 7, Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa St., Madison
Local vegan food from carts and restaurants, as well as samples from national vendors. veganfest.org.
Rock County Pork Fest
June 11, Rock County 4H Fairgrounds, Janesville
Drive-up begins at 4 pm, walk-in serving at 5 pm. Bone-in pork chops, beans, potato salad. rockcountyporkproducers.com.
June 13-15, Henry W. Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee
Open at noon daily. You can expect Polish sausage and the filled dumplings known as pierogies, but you may also find bigos (hunter's stew), zupa grzybowa (mushroom soup) and placki ziemniaczane (potato pancakes). Polish vodka tastings require an extra ticket. polishfest.org. 414-529-2140.
Taste of Wisconsin
Noon-4 pm, June 14, Beaver Dam
Craft beer and cheese tasting event of products made in Wisconsin. Fortunately there's plenty to choose from. Tickets can be purchased in advance through tasteofwisconsin.net.
Door County Beer Festival
June 14, Bailey's Harbor
Cesky Den Czech Heritage Festival
June 14-15, Fireman's Park, Hwy. 33, Hillsboro
Pig in the Park State Championship BBQ Cook-Off
June 14-15, Cravath Park, Whitewater
Father's Day Chicken BBQ
10:30 am-2:30 pm, June 15, McKellar Park, Blanchardville
Fyr Bal Festival
June 21, Ephraim
Scandinavian festival and fish boil. 920-854-4989.
Cedarburg Strawberry Festival
June 28-29, Sat. 10 am-6 pm, Sun. 10 am-5 pm, Cedarburg
This is where you'll find the original strawberry brat, strawberry shortcake, strawberry pie, strawberry crepes, strawberry slushies, strawberry schaum torte, chocolate-covered strawberries and strawberry cheesecake, plus strawberry blush wine and a Sunday morning strawberry pancake breakfast (8-11 am). cedarburgfestivals.org. 262-377-3891.
July 10-13, East Town/Cathedral Square Park, Milwaukee
Festival-goers can sample French and Cajun cuisine at sidewalk cafes while enjoying live music and street performers. The mini-Parisian atmosphere is completed with a 43-foot-tall Eiffel Tower replica. easttown.com. 414-271-1416.
July 11-13, Trempeleau
Catfish and music all three days. Less predictably, there's a bass and walleye fishing tournament on Saturday. trempealeau.net/catfish-days.
July 18-20, Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee
Italian food and wine. festaitaliana.com.
Port Washington Fish Day
July 19, Port Washington
Billed as the "World's largest outdoor one-day fish fry," Fish Day features nine stands from service organizations selling fish and chips or, for those who were somehow dragged along unwillingly to this event, chicken. portfishday.com.
July 25-27, Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee
This is one of the biggies, with currywurst, sauerbraten, schnitzel, potato pancakes, fried herring, sauerkraut, Bienenstich, Sachertorte and other pastries, tortes and strudels. And of course there's beer. germanfest.com. 414-464-9444.
July 26-27, Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, Seventh Street & East Washington Avenue, Madison, Sat. 3-9 pm, Sun. 11 am-6 pm.
July 31-Aug. 2, Kiwanis Park, Sheboygan
Brats can be found everywhere in Wisconsin in the summer, but here, the celebration is truly of the bratwurst. Past years have featured brat on a stick, brat jambalaya, brat barbecue, brat egg rolls, brat tacos and deep-fried veggies with a brat, and surely the innovation will continue. If there is no beer, we will eat our hats. brat-days.com. 920-803-8980.
Milwaukee Irish Fest
Aug. 14-17, Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee
Sweet Corn Festival
Aug. 14-17, Angell Park (Hwy. 19 and N), Sun Prairie
70 tons of steamed fresh sweet corn on the cob. Get a tote or a single ear of corn, pull down the husk and rub in butter and salt, then relax and enjoy the band. Corn served Sat. and Sun. noon-7 pm. sunprairiechamber.com. 608-837-4547.
Taste of Madison
Aug. 30-31, Capitol Square, Madison
Indian Summer Festival
Sept. 5-7, Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee
This Native American powwow and celebration usually features foods such as Native American flatbread with various toppings, buffalo, venison, freshwater fish, Indian tacos, wild rice casserole, turkey, roasted corn, Native garden bean soup and more. indiansummer.org. 414-604-1000.
10 am, Sept. 6, Chandler Park, Pardeeville
The slices of watermelon are free. Expect contests centered on melon carving, melon eating and seed spitting. pardeevillewatermelonfestival.com.
Wisconsin State Chili Cookoff
Sept. 6, Deacon Mills Park, Green Lake
Chefs from around the Midwest come to compete for the title of "creator of the best chili in Wisconsin," plus other entertainment. Cooking starts at 11 am, judging at 3 pm, with sampling afterward. visitgreenlake.com. 920-294-6504.
11 am-midnight, Sept. 6, downtown Edgerton
Wild Rice Days
Sept. 13, Lac du Flambeau
Wild rice and Indian fry bread cooking contest, pie eating contest and Native food vendors. 715-588-3346.
Sept. 19-21, Monroe
100th anniversary year for this every-other-year fest should be a big one. There are usually lots of cheeses to sample, plenty of other foods, and a great likelihood of beer also being available. cheesedays.com.
Food for Thought Festival
Sept. 20, Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Madison
Over 40 organizations, farms and restaurants; local foods tent; cooking and tasting demos. reapfoodgroup.org.
Sept. 26-28, Warrens
Cranberries are a big deal in Wisconsin agriculture. Bus tours of a cranberry marsh run every 15 minutes from 8 am to 3 pm. Fri. and Sat. Cranberry cream puffs and pancakes with cranberry syrup are some of the cranberry-enhanced foods available. cranfest.com. 608-378-4200.
Sept. 27-28, Gays Mills
Celebrate the apple in the epicenter of southern Wisconsin's apple country, traveling from orchard to orchard along the unglaciated ridge that overlooks the town. Pancake and sausage breakfast at the Congregational church 7-11 am and apple pie at the Methodist church 10:30 am-5 pm both days. Apple fest parade Sunday, 1:30 pm. gaysmills.org. 608-735-4341.