Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Photo of maypole dancers © Barb Grutzmacher

Dance around the maypole and kick off spring at the Blossom Festival in Sister Bay.
© Barb Grutzmacher

April 2010

Wisconsin Traveler

Make Mom's Day

Kathryn A. Kahler

Check breakfast off the list with a farm-style breakfast in Madison on Sunday, April 25. The 14th annual Breakfast on the Farm is sponsored by the Association of Women in Agriculture at the UW-Madison Stock Pavilion and features stacks of hotcakes, farm-fresh eggs, savory sausage and ice cream with all the toppings. It's an educational event with something for all ages at a reasonable price. For more information contact Christa Behnke.

At Historic Point Basse on the east bank of the Wisconsin River, just south of Nekoosa, learn how maple syrup is made at Wakely's Sugar Bush on April 18. If the sap is running, you'll even be able to help gather sap and sample some syrup on a pancake. Event starts at 11 a.m. and costs just $2 for adults and $1 for children. Call (715) 886-4202 or e-mail info@historicpointbasse.com for information.

Further north in Park Falls, bring your appetite to Northern Wisconsin Maid Sugarbush Open House, April 17-18 at W8052 Maple Ridge Road. Owners John and Rosemary Slack will tap 200 acres of maple trees to produce over 2,000 gallons of Wisconsin's syrupy delight. Visit the "Sugar Cabin" in Park Falls and enjoy coffee and doughnuts with warm maple syrup, then drive to the sugarbush on Highway F for a hay wagon tour of the production process, finished off with a free-will donation pancake and sausage breakfast. Call (715) 762-4796 or e-mail slacknwm@pctcnet.net for information.

Switch gears and chug on down to Brooklyn for the 13th annual Depot Days, April 25-26 beginning at 10 a.m. each day. This heritage festival celebrates the role the railroad played in the community's development with activities for young and old, indoors and out. You'll find model layouts galore, railroad rides on the C&NW rail line, and a new GPS-based "geocaching on the rails" event. Make Mom happy and pick up birding checklists and maps to three local birding hot spots where you're sure to see and hear migratory birds like Sandhill cranes. Call (608) 455-1503, e-mail info@depotdays.info, or visit Depot Days of Green County for more information.

Leading up to Mother's Day, what better way to celebrate than with flowers? Herald the beginning of spring in downtown Sister Bay on May 8 for Blossom Festival. The event features a traditional raising of the maypole, Norwegian dancers, and children's parade and a bonfire at sunset at Waterfront Park. Call (920) 854-2812 or visit Sister Bay Tourism for details. Also that day, in historic downtown Columbus, celebrate the blooming of the community's famous redbuds and the Redbud Festival. Savor your first brat of the season at the Lion's Club brat stand, dicker for deals at the citywide garage sales and pay homage to the city's newly crowned Prince and Princess. Call (920) 623-3699 for more information.

Show Mom a bouquet without having to search for a vase. Take her and your camera on the Mother's Day Wildflower Hike, May 9 from 2 to 4 p.m., at the Richard Bong State Recreation Area, 26313 Burlington Road, in Kansasville. Call (262) 878-5600 for details. The trail may be rough and wet, so listen to Mom and wear your galoshes! If you don't dillydally, you may have time to catch some of the festivities at the Horicon Marsh Bird Festival. This four-day event (May 7-10) during the peak of spring migration includes guided bird hikes, bird banding demonstrations, pontoon boat birding adventures, birding for kids, the Big Sit, night sounds bus tour, twilight birding by boat and more. Reservations are required for some events so be sure to check out Horicon Marsh Bird Festival for details.