As we approach Memorial Day weekend (May 26 to May 29), many are excited for the start of summer with sun-soaked fun, fireworks and Popsicles. However, it’s important to remember the holiday’s significance and pay tribute to those who have bravely served our country. In honor of the special holiday (and the unofficial start of summer), the following are the top five events to help you celebrate Memorial Day weekend in Wisconsin.
May 26 to May 28: Brat Fest
The world’s largest brat fest will take place this Memorial Day weekend from May 26 to May 28 in Madison. The exciting events offer a plethora of fun for all ages, including carnival rides, a kid’s zone, firework displays, celeb cashiers and all the grilled brats and hot dogs your heart can take (including vegan and vegetarian renditions). A massive lineup of your favorite artists will be playing at the fest, including Rick Monroe, Kristie Kraus, Royal Bliss, Saving Abel and more. There are a total of 100 artists set to take the stage over the course of the three-day event and offer the perfect soundtrack to your summer this Memorial Day in Wisconsin.
Cost: Free (donations accepted).
For more information: bratfest.com.
May 26 to May 29: Memorial Day Weekend at Wilderness Campground
Grab your sleeping bags and tents and head to Wilderness Campground in Montello for an exciting Memorial Day weekend chock-full of events for all ages. Kick off the fun with a Friday Night Fish Fry with Icelandic cod, shrimp or chicken tenders served alongside a side of rolls, fries and coleslaw. On Saturday, campers can expect activities all day long, beginning at 10 a.m., with crafts on the deck, horseshoe tournaments, wagon rides, slip n’ slides, bingo and live music on the lawn. Sunday’s agenda begins at 11 a.m. sharp with a cornhole tournament, followed by wagon rides, tie-dying patriotic T-shirts, slip n’ slide fun, a DJ at the pool and an evening glow party. The exciting weekend will conclude on Monday after a Memorial Day service and flag-raising at 10 a.m.
Cost: Free; reservations are required.
For more information: wildernesscampground.com.
May 29: Appleton Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony
No Memorial Day weekend would be complete without visiting a parade and luckily for Appleton locals, the city is putting on the annual Appleton Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony. The celebration will take place on Monday, May 29, at 9 a.m. where the parade will begin on the corner of College Avenue and Appleton Street and end at Appleton’s historic Riverside Cemetery. Once the parade ends, a moment of remembrance ceremony will begin at Riverside Cemetery to honor military service men and women who served our country. Local students will deliver multiple addresses during the ceremony, and the event will conclude with a rifle salute and music.
Cost: The event is free.
For more information: allevents.in.
May 29: Memorial Day Music in the Park
A free, family-friendly event will be taking place this Memorial Day in Wisconsin at Memorial Day Music in the Park in Downtown Hudson. This is the second year the event has taken place in an effort to raise money for veterans and St. Croix County Freedom Park Center. The event will take place on May 29 and feature an assortment of fun for everyone in your group, including bounce houses, face painting, hula hoop contests, silent auctions, handcrafted cocktails and much more. Live music performances will kick off at 1 p.m. and include a lineup of local artists like Joshua Lassi, Jake Nelson Music, Tim Sigler and Navy Vet Sailor Jerri.
Cost: Free (donation based).
For more information: fitregroup.com.
May 29: The Songs of Our Heroes
Join The Edgewater Hotel for an evening of remembrance as it hosts The Songs of Our Heroes, a Memorial Day concert experience taking place on May 29 from 2 to 6 p.m. The inspiring evening will feature stories from local heroes and their experiences serving in different branches of the United States military, followed by a moving performance from Sean Michael Dargan & the Talented Lads and That Jazz Classic Big Band. The concert will feature World War II soundtrack selections, including sounds from the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf Wars. The event is free and open to the public, with purchases for sips and bites available. A portion of the proceeds from this event will go to the University of Wisconsin Missing in Action Recovery and Identification Project.
Cost: Free, Donation based.
For more information: theedgewater.com.