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Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

The bed races are a good bet at the Big Pajama Party in Green Lake. © Green Lake Area Chamber of Commerce
The bed races are a good bet at the Big Pajama Party in Green Lake.

June 2007

Wisconsin Traveler
Opposites attract

Recreation runs the gamut in Wisconsin.

© Green Lake Area Chamber of Commerce

The adage holds true for recreation and leisure time, just as it does for love. Every summer Wisconsin oscillates between extremes of entertainment, offering countless stops along the route from high-brow to no-brow, fantasy to history, strictly vegetables to meat alone. We've paired some events to anchor the poles; it's up to you to decide where you fall on the spectrum.

Biogas Buddy or Carburetor Chum?

All friends of the earth will want to converge on Custer from June 15-17 for the world's largest Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair. The 18th annual fair held at the ReNew the Earth Institute features workshops on solar and wind power, biodiesel, energy-efficient construction and more. Speakers include citizen action advocate Dr. Helen Caldicott and journalist Judith Levine, who has written on culture and the marketplace. Visit vendor exhibits, enjoy music, food, and special programs for kids, and view the Clean Energy Car Show. See Midwest Renewable Energy Association for ticket information and mass transit/ridesharing details. (715) 592-6595.

If you'd rather hark back to the halcyon days of the hydrocarbon, drive on over to Fond du Lac. Every Saturday evening through September 15 the proud owners of vintage hot rods and classic cars pack the parking lot of Culver's at the junction of highways 23 and 41 for Car Cruise-In Night. Ogle the chrome, get under the hood, and reminisce about those Shorty Street Headers for a '64 Mustang. Fond du Lac Area Convention & Visitors Bureau tells more.

Sweet Dreamer or High-Sea Schemer?

Celebrate the summer solstice a few days early in Green Lake. There, on June 16, the town throws a Big Pajama Party, complete with bed races, a "howl at the moon" competition, a "cutest pj's and slippers" contest, and plenty of food and fun. Show up in your pajamas and enjoy some special discounts. See Green Lake, Wisconsin or call (920) 294-3231.

Prefer to catch a thief rather than a few zzzzz's? Head to Sturgeon Bay and the Door County Maritime Museum, where Pirates! rule the Great Lakes. The exhibit highlights the history of famous buccaneers like Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, and "the fierce hell-cats" Anne Bonney and Mary Read. It also illuminates the less well known but equally nefarious activities of James Jesse Strang and Captain Dan Seavey, who played fast and loose with Prohibition on our inland seas. Visit Door County Maritime Museum for more booty or call (920) 743-5958. The exhibit runs to January 15, 2008.

Base Slider or Bull Rider?

Hope your side comes out swinging during Base Ball History Day, June 16 at Old World Wisconsin in Eagle. The Eagle Diamonds, Old World's vintage 1860s team, takes on the Milwaukee Cream Citys (sic). If you can't make this game, fear not: The doughty Diamonds play a 12-game season this summer, with the Greenbush Dead Citys, Rockford Midway Marauders, Oregon Ganymedes, Minnesota Loggers, Elk Grove Bucks, Downers Grove Plowboys and those fishy Chicago Salmon on the schedule. After the game, tour the mid-18th century village and ten ethnic farmsteads on 576 acres in the Southern Unit of Kettle Moraine State Forest. True fans will want to support the team at Old World's Base Ball Barbecue Friday, June 8 at 6:30 p.m. Meet players over a brat and bring your glove to play a little catch afterward. See Old World Wisconsin or call (262) 594-6300.

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The Waukesha Diamonds, circa 1874 (l) and the Diamonds today (r).
© Old World Wisconsin, Wisconsin Historical Society

If the national pastime isn't your preference, trade in your baseball cap for a 10-gallon hat. At the Wisconsin High School Rodeo Finals, June 15-17 at the Richland County Fairgrounds in Richland Center, participants compete in bareback and saddle bronc riding, bull riding, barrel racing, pole bending, cutting, calf roping and breakaway roping, all with one goal: to move on to the nationals. Cheer on your two-legged and four-legged favorites. Visit Richland County for details.