Wisconsin in Bloom: 5 flower festivals worth the drive

Photo courtesy of Happy Day Farmhaus via Facebook.

By Dorothy Scott

April 10, 2024

Those of us from Wisconsin know how beautiful our state is, especially during spring. Our land bursts with crops, our trees bear plenty of fruits, and, of course, our pastures liven up with new blooms for the year.

Whether you tend flowers at home or head out into nature to admire them, you can’t deny that each year’s blooms are spring’s smile upon us. You also can’t deny that we have some of the best flower festivals in the Lower 48.

Part of the charm of Wisconsin flowers is their color variety. Our great state is home to gorgeous violets, sunny marigolds, snow-white wood anemones, and navy-blue bottle gentians, among many other species. Even sunflowers grow in the wild here, which just goes to show how much nature favors our fair land. (Okay, maybe our love for sunflowers is a touch biased, but they’re undeniably breathtaking, especially when one sees a full field of them.)

With so many flowers to see each year, especially after a dreary winter like this past one, you’re bound to desire to hit up a flower festival or two to breathe in the fresh air (and thaw out some). Luckily, Wisconsin has many to choose from, and we’ve gathered the best ones for you to visit for some good, old-fashioned TLC this spring.

Here are five upcoming flower festivals in Wisconsin:

1. Festival of Spring

When: May 18, 2024, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: 1600 block of Congress Avenue, Oshkosh

Plants, art, live entertainment, food, and more await you when you visit Oshkosh’s Festival of Spring, located near the Paine Art Center and Gardens. This event is free, so you can walk around and take everything in without spending a single scent. However, plenty of art and plants will be vying for your attention, so you could potentially leave with your next favorite houseplant or masterpiece. The festival’s website even notes that plant sellers have a wide variety of choices, including both rarer and easier-to-grow flowers. Everyone is welcome here, and everyone can nurture their green thumb with this festival’s finds.

Note: Two neighboring churches offer free parking for the event, but they do request donations if you utilize one of their parking spots.

P.S. Some festival booths in the past have offered free cheese curds, meaning you may want to arrive early in the day so they don’t run out before you reach their stall.

Wisconsin in Bloom: 5 flower festivals worth the drive

Photo courtesy of Paine Art Center and Gardens via Facebook.

2. Wisconsin Arts & Peony Festival

When: June 7-9, 2024, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: W9904 County Hwy CP, Beaver Dam, WI 53916

Another free-to-attend event, the Wisconsin Arts & Peony Festival at Ovans Peony Farm will be held in early June and will see the titular flower in all its glory. Attendees will not only see sprawling waves of peonies but will also be able to take home bouquets if purchased in the farm’s shop, aptly named the Peon Boutique. Handmade soaps and cute aprons, among other must-grabs, are also available in the Peony Boutique. But our favorite aspect of this festival is that photos aren’t merely accepted — they’re encouraged! If you’re looking to spice up your gram with some late spring flair, this is the festival for you.

Note: While the event is free, parking costs $5.

Wisconsin in Bloom: 5 flower festivals worth the drive

Photo courtesy of Visit Beaver Dam via Instagram.

3. 4th Annual Tulip Fest & Harvest

When: May 4-5, 2024, from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Where: W188N13251 Maple Road, Richfield, WI 53076

The 4th Annual Tulip Fest & Harvest is — you guessed it — a spring-celebrating event in its fourth year, and it’s community-organized, meaning it’s a great chance to support local businesses and farmers and meet fellow Wisconsinites. While the tulips are the true star of the show here — 13,500 tulips were manually planted for this year’s event — one can’t deny that the food vendor lineup is stacked. Attendees can look forward to ice cream, pizzas, stuffed tots, coffee drinks, and more.

But back to the tulips: Attendees can pick their own flowers or receive help from event staff, and it’s the perfect opportunity to pick fresh blooms for Mother’s Day, which falls on May 12 this year. There’s no better gift than a hand-picked or handmade one, after all. Plus, the festival’s site promises beautiful spots for photos, so this is another event that will liven up your social feeds.

Wisconsin in Bloom: 5 flower festivals worth the drive

Photo courtesy of Happy Day Farmhaus via Facebook.

4. Annual Cranberry Blossom Festival

When: June 20-23

Where: 131 2nd St N, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494

The Annual Cranberry Blossom Festival is, naturally, named after the pink flower that grows from cranberry plants. However, this festival is different from the others on this list in that it’s less centered on the flowers itself; rather, the events’ activities are largely cranberry-themed, including many culinary creations featuring the Wisconsin-native fruit.

Still, attendees should be able to get some good glimpses of the beautiful flowers, and while they’re at it, they can enjoy a full carnival, a quilt show, a raffle, chalk activities, and much more. Ultimately, the Annual Cranberry Blossom Festival is proof that flowers (and nature generally) play huge roles in our culture even when they aren’t the central focus at all times.

Wisconsin in Bloom: 5 flower festivals worth the drive

Photo by Rochelle Hoffman courtesy of Wisconsin Rapids Area CVB via Instagram.

5. Tulip Fest 2024

When: May 11, 2024, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: N6486 CR-N, Monticello, WI 53570

Not to be confused with the 4th Annual Tulip Fest & Harvest, Tulip Fest 2024 is an annual event held at Parrfection Produce Farm Market. This year’s affair includes murals, clog dancing, and games for the youngins so you can smell the roses — er, tulips — with more peace of mind. What’s more, Parrfection nearly tripled its planting efforts for this year’s fest, so there should be no shortage of flowers to choose from. Oh, and food trucks and vendors are lined up for the big day, so you won’t go hungry no matter how passionately you meander and pick flowers.

Wisconsin in Bloom: 5 flower festivals worth the drive

Photo courtesy of Parrfection Produce Farm Market via Facebook.

Bonus: Frühlingsfest (Spring Oktoberfest)

When: May 11, 2024, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: 301 N Main Street, Waupaca, WI 54981

Frühlingsfest, directly translated to Spring Oktoberfest in English, is celebrated throughout Germany, and you can experience it in Wisconsin, too. Now, we’ll admit that this one is less of a flower festival and more of a spring festival generally, but it’s worth noting for many reasons.

First, it’s an excuse to get out of the house and enjoy a hearty pretzel and a beer under the spring sun with a lively group of friendly faces. Second, it’s one of the first spring events where you can experience amazing live music — and trust us, German folks know how to have a good time when live music and beer are involved. This is virtually guaranteed to be a good time, and since it’s slated to be outdoors, you’re bound to see some flowers!

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.Wisconsin in Bloom: 5 flower festivals worth the driveWisconsin in Bloom: 5 flower festivals worth the drive

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