Door County Celebrations

Olde Ellison Bay Days

Olde Ellison Bay Days, June 23rd – 25th, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Sponsored by the Ellison Bay Men’s Club, this three-day event kicks off with a talent show on Friday night at the North Fire Station. Apart from enjoying the amateur talent, locals show up to see who will be crowned King and Queen of Ellison Bay. Afterwards, there is an ice cream social at Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church. Saturday morning, 60-70 Midwestern artists set up their booths at the Ellison Bay Community Center for the annual juried art show.

The Olde Ellison Bay Days parade begins at 11:00 am and features numerous floats and musicians from the county. Live music will also be performed in front of Mink River Basin and at the town gazebo, which is also where the raffle is held. Throughout the day, there will be lots of food, beverages and activities happening everywhere. A new addition to the line-up is the Hole in One game where golfers try their luck at hitting a golf ball onto a floating green in the bay for a $100 prize.

The Auto Show is another highlight of this long running festival. It takes place on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm at the historical property across the street from Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church. Spectators can have a close look at the 40-50 classic and antique cars, such as a 1924 Ford Model T and 1923 Reo Truck. For more information on the parade or any of the events, please contact (920) 854-4795.

Jacksonport Maifest

Though considered part of the “quiet side” of Door County, Jacksonport is anything but quiet during the annual Maifest over Memorial Day weekend. For 34 years, tourists and locals alike have attended the festival at Lakeside Park as a way to kick off the new season. Geared towards family fun, visitors gather in the park for carnival games, moon jumps and the Randy Peterson interactive show for children with singing and instruments. The parade through town begins at 10:30 am and includes colorful floats and marching bands. At noon, the coronation of the Wisconsin Cherry Queen takes place at the park. Also, the Jacksonport Advancement Corporation, the Maifest sponsor, will announce the local winners of the $5,000 scholarships set aside for continuing education.

Another main feature of Maifest is the juried art show that also takes place at Lakeside Park and features artists from the Midwest. The championship game for men’s softball happens on Saturday at the newly improved town ballpark. On Sunday, runners are encouraged to participate in either the 10K run or the 2-Mile Fun Run that begins and ends at the park. Spectators can also cheer on their favorite team in the horse pull; between 10 and 15 teams of horses pull weighted sleds for prizes. Food and music are available throughout the weekend, in particular a traditional fish boil at 11:30 am on Saturday and Sunday. For more information and an updated calendar of events, visit

Fyr Bal

What does a winter witch have to do with a summer festival? In Ephraim this year, as for the past 42 years, the symbolic winter witch is burned in a Norwegian traditional ritual to signify the end of winter and to celebrate the beginning of summer. This all takes place at the annual festival, Fyr Bal, just before the summer solstice from June 16th-18th. All-day music begins on Saturday morning from 8:00 am and the activities continue throughout the day into the night. Most of the events take place at the Ephraim Village Hall:  a raffle and silent auction with tempting gift certificates and merchandise (raffle tickets now available at Ephraim Visitor’s Center and local banks), all day food, an arts and crafts show, and activities for kids. Free trolleys run throughout the village so that people can park north and south of town.

When the bonfires are lit up and down the shoreline, the festivities continue on with a must-have fish boil. Young girls from the village dress up in traditional handmade costumes and perform Norwegian dancing and singing. The highlight of the evening is the Chieftain ceremony, where the new Chieftain is announced and arrives by boat. Village locals vote on a resident who has done exceptional volunteer work for Ephraim or has otherwise impacted the community. To add to the celebration, there is a fireworks show at dusk. For more information, call (920) 854-4989 or go to