Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Bluegrass Musicians; credit River Falls Chamber of Commerce

Enjoy bluegrass at its finest April 3 to 5 in River Falls.
© River Falls Chamber of Commerce

April 2013

Wisconsin Traveler

Spring fling!

Kathryn A. Kahler

If reality TV reruns have you climbing the walls, take a day to experience some real reality. Get out of the house and take a road trip to events scattered across the state sure to interest the musicians, stargazers, horse lovers, naturalists and historians in our audience. As for the rest of you – c’mon along and try something new!

Experience bluegrass music at all levels all weekend long at the River Falls Roots and Bluegrass Festival, April 3-5 in the heart of downtown River Falls. The Main Stage is at Juniors Bar and Grill with six to seven other venues located within walking distance.

Enjoy the free fiddle and banjo workshops, participate in a free jam session and have a delicious Bluegrass Brunch at a local eatery. Tickets for the main stage performances are $25; remaining venues are free. Visit River Falls Bluegrass Festival for more information and to purchase tickets online.

Stars, constellations and a tour of the night sky are on order at Astronomy Night at the Arboretum, April 18, at the Harmony Arboretum in Peshtigo. Dress for the weather for this free public program. Hot beverages will be provided. The event will be cancelled in case of inclement weather, so call ahead to (715) 732-7780.

This year’s theme is “Horses & Heroes” at the Midwest Horse Fair, April 19-21, at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. Patriotism will be center stage at the three day event featuring nearly 700 horses of more than 40 breeds, competing, performing and on display throughout the weekend. Admission on Sunday is free to guests with a military ID. For ticket information, call the Midwest Horse Fair office at (920) 623-5515, email tickets@midwesthorsefair.com, or visit Midwest Horse Fair

Dutch oven cooking © U.S. Forest Service
Learn Dutch oven cooking at Sandhill Outdoor Skills Center on May 11.
© U.S. Forest Service

Three events promise something for everyone at the Sandhill Outdoor Skills Center (1715 County Highway X, Babcock). Friends of Sandhill Open House, April 28, is a day for family fun exploring nature’s secrets at the 9,150-acre wildlife area, smack dab in the center of the state. Return to the center at 7:30 p.m. on May 4 for Exploring the Night Sky, and on May 11, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., for Dutch Oven Cooking. Registration is required for the latter two events; $20 fee is charged for the cooking event which includes meal, refreshment and recipes. Call (715) 884-6335 for more information.

Reconnect with people, community and nature at the Prairie Fling Festival, May 11, at the Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary in Sarona. Enjoy live music, art vendors, family nature programs and delicious treats. Cost is $5 per person, free for members. Call (715) 635-6543 or visit hunthill.org for more information.

Tucked along State Highway 13, just a mile south of Phillips, you’ll find a unique personal expression by grassroots artist Fred Smith. In 1950, this local lumberjack-tavern owner farmer-dancehall musician added one more feather to his cap by creating over 200 figures in concrete at what is now the Wisconsin Concrete Park. The park will host Heritage Days – Get Hooked on History, May 18, Featuring Price County history through re-enactments, interactive displays, engaging exhibits by local and regional historians and book authors. Fun for all ages; no registration required. Call (715) 339-7282, toll free (800) 269-4504, or visit Friends of Fred Smith for more information.

Kathryn A. Kahler is a staff writer for Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.