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Category: Door County Festivals

2023 Door County Festivals

Door County festivals offer great opportunities to sample food from the area’s amazing restaurants, find beautiful arts and crafts, pick up fine artwork from more than 100 galleries, or just enjoy a day strolling with friends in the sun.

Door County Festival of Nature: May 26-28

Join the Ridges Sanctuary for the 21st Annual Door County Festival of Nature May 26-28.  Discover all Door County’s nature has to offer through guided field trips with titles ranging from Birding by Ear and The Sex Life of Plants.

 

Jacksonport Maifest: May 27 & 28

Celebrate the 5oth anniversary of Jacksonport Maifest May 27 and 28. The weekend kicks off with an art fair and parade Saturday morning, and will feature face-painting, games, and a memorial day ceremony. Fireworks on the beach and a performance by the Sevastopol Senior Choir end the day. Sunday, May 28, the festival opens with the 40th annual Maifest 10k run, and continues with more live music, and a horse stunt performance.

Door County Lighthouse Fest: June 9-11

Discover Door County’s 11 lighthouses by land, air, and boat June 9-11. Visitors will have access to unique excursions and exclusive access to lighthouses that aren’t typically open to the public, including Chambers Island, Plum Island and Sherwood Point lighthouses. A portion of proceeds will go to the Door County Maritime Museum & Lighthouse Preservation Society.

Roofing of the Goats & Goat Fest: June 10

Welcome the famous goats back to the roof of Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant with a parade! Saturday, June 10, watch the goat’s trip down Highway 42 and up onto the roof. This year’s Parade will be followed by the 6th Annual Goat Fest next store at Stabbur with live music and a Swedish Pancake-Eating Contest.

Fyr Bal Festival: June 17

Ephraim Fyr Bal festival is set for June 17 – but the celebration will kick off with three June 16 concerts at the Ephraim Moravian Church. Festivities will include a yoga class at Anderson Dock, a pancake breakfast at Ephraim Village Hall and a pet parade. The highlight of the festival is the chieftain ceremony, fireworks and the lighting of the Fyr Bal pyr.

Door County Beer Festival: June 17

Celebrate father’s day weekend with craft beer, culinary artisans, and live music on the shores of Baileys Harbor. Sample over 150 beers from dozens of Door County, Wisconsin, Michigan and Midwest breweries, enjoy food from some of the best restaurants on the peninsula, and enjoy live music at the Maxwelton Braes grounds. The Peninsula Century Spring Classic bike ride takes place in conjunction with the festival.

Door County Wine Fest: June 24

The Door County Wine Fest, located on the grounds of Maxwelton Braes, showcases the eight wineries on the Door County Wine Trail. Tickets include unlimited tasting of up to 58 different kinds of wine. There will be food trucks and live music throughout the event, from 12pm – 4pm.

Fourth of July Celebrations

Egg Harbor 4th of July Parade and Celebration: July 3 & 4

Enjoy live music (5-9pm), food & refreshments (4-9pm), and fireworks (dusk) on July 3. On the 4th, come watch the Parade, which runs south along Hwy 42 from the north end of Church Street to Hwy T at 1:30. Food and Refreshments all day.

Baileys Harbor Celebrates the 4th: July 4

Celebrate our country’s birthday the Baileys Harbor way! The day starts with a Fire Department pancake breakfast from 7:30 am – 10 am at 2404 Park Road. The Independence Day Parade starts at 10 am, and runs from Ridges Road to Summit Road on Hwy 42. Stick around for an arts and crafts fair, food, and music all day at Kendall Park. Enjoy fireworks, live music,  beer and food vendors at Anclam Park at dusk to end the fun-filled day!

Sturgeon Bay Independence Day Celebration: July 4

Sturgeon Bay Celebrates presented with Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding —Join the 4th of July fun and festivities at Sunset Park! Food and drinks available beginning at 5 pm along with live reggae music by Unity leading up to a spectacular firework display at dusk!

Gills Rock Celebrates: July 4

Celebrate the 4th with music, food & drink, a fish fry fundraiser for the Deaths Door Maritime Museum and of course FIREWORKS! The celebration begins around 5pm. The boat parade is typically about an hour or so before sunset and the fireworks begin at dusk.

Door County Plein Air Festival: July 23-29

Watch artists from across the country paint Door County from July 23 to 29. Artists will be on location 11am – 2pm at Edgewood Orchard Galleries, Fish Creek and The Hardy Gallery, Ephraim July 24, July 25 at Jacksonport Farmer’s Market, Downtown Jacksonport and Downtown Baileys Harbor, July 26 at Horseshoe Bay Farm, Egg Harbor and The Garden Door – UW Extension, Sturgeon Bay, and July 27 at Downtown Ellison Bay and Hidden Acres Farm, Beach Rd, Sister Bay. End the weekend with a quick paint from 9am – 11am in Fish Creek, and live auction at 12:30.

Door County Fair: August 9-13

The 151st Door County Fair is an experience the entire family will love, with old-school, small-town fun. Enjoy carnival rides, food stands, 40H animal barns, and grandstand events. Grandstand attractions include stock car races, a demolition derby, and motorcycle racing. Carnival rides, concession stands & exceptional bands fill the fair midway. Hundreds of art, crafts, and animal entries showcase the talents of Door County exhibitors.

Sturgeon Bay Maritime Week: August

The City of Sturgeon Bay honors its rich maritime heritage.

Attend the Door County Classic & Wooden Boat show August 5 & 6 at the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay.

Celebrate Lake Michigan with the city of Algoma August 11 through 13. Enjoy live music Friday, August 11 from 4pm – 8pm, before the Shanty Days 5k run/walk Saturday, August 12. Enjoy a parade, car cruise and show, 150+ arts and crafts & street fair vendors, a beach volleyball tourney, fireworks, kid’s area, fishing contest, book sale and entertainment for the entire family all day Saturday and Sunday.

Sister Bay Marina Fest: September 2-4

Highlights of the Sister Bay Marina Fest are a vintage boat show and performance by Jerry Voelker and the Jolly Gents Saturday, September 2 at the Sister Bay Marina. This Labor Day celebration includes live music at the Marina, a kids carnival and boatbuilding, and a food court at the Sister Bay Village hall pavilion.

Sturgeon Bay Harvest Fest & Street Art Auction: September 16

Usher in the spirit of autumn on Third Avenue in Sturgeon Bay starting at 8 am. Features include a classic car show, craft show, food booths, in-store specials, the “Tapping of the Firkin” stein holding contest, and live entertainment. Preview the “Bass Around the Bay” Street Art Project at Martin Park before the virtual auction closes at 5 pm.

Baileys Harbor AutumnFest: September 23

Celebrate fall in Baileys Harbor with live music, food and drinks, and and arts and crafts fair. Highlights of Pin-Ups and Pistons day include a Classic Auto and Motorcycle Show and pin-up photoshoot, plus the Hey Hey 5k Run at Door County Brewing Co. Remember to bring your classic car or motorcycle to when you visit Autumnfest!

Autumn Lighthouse Festival: September 29-October 1

Discover Door County’s 11 lighthouses by land, air, and boat again this Columbus Day weekend. Visitors will have access to unique excursions and exclusive access to lighthouses that aren’t typically open to the public, including Chambers Island, Plum Island and Sherwood Point lighthouses. A portion of proceeds will go to the Door County Maritime Museum & Lighthouse Preservation Society.

Egg Harbor Pumpkin Patch Festival: October 7 & 8

Egg Harbor celebrates fall with one of the year’s largest festivals. Fall food favorites, carnival rides, arts and crafts vendors, silent auction, live music, scarecrow and pumpkin displays, magicians, food, refreshments and more at the Kress Pavilion Lawn and Harbor View Park.

Sister Bay Fall Festival: October 13-15

Close out the season with Sister Bay’s annual fall bash! Featuring live music all over the village, a huge arts and crafts fair, games and activities for kids, and food, including the Lion’s Club Fish Boil and Pancake Breakfast. Join the Fall Fest Parade Saturday morning, and don’t miss Sunday’s annual Ping Pong Ball Drop and Derby Race.

Jack O’Lantern Days: October 28-30

This festival puts the “eek!” in Fish Creek! A true, hometown Halloween festival at Fish Creek’s Top of the Hill Shops,  Jack O’ Lantern Days will entertain little witches and goblins of all ages. Highlights include a festive costume contest, town hall games, town-wide trick-or-treating, a costume parade, live owls, mask making and so much more! This festival is full of surprises and will give your family a Halloween filled with good memories they’ll remember forever.

Thrills and Chills: October 28

A day of festive Halloween fun for the entire family! Start the holiday with a  Costume Parade begins at 10 am from the Old Bell Tower and concludes at Martin Park in Sturgeon Bay. Activities include making your own trick-or-treat bags, costume parade, haunted house, pumpkin carving, and trick-or-treating throughout downtown Sturgeon Bay from 10 am-3 pm.

Sturgeon Bay Christmas by the Bay: November 17-19

Unwrap Sturgeon Bay with Christmas by the Bay Weekend presented in partnership with Door County Daily News. Join in the community car parade as Sturgeon Bay stores “unwrap” their festive storefronts to kick off the holiday season followed by the annual tree lighting ceremony near the Old Bell Tower on Third Avenue on Friday, Nov. 17! The fun continues Saturday, with a parade and  meet and greet with Santa.  The weekend comes to a close during brunch with Santa at Stone Harbor Resort on Sunday.

Sister Bay Capture the Spirit Festival: November 24 & 25

Celebrate the season with a holiday arts and craft fair and cookie decorating at Sister Bay Village Hall, visit with Santa’s elves and reindeer. Watch Santa arrive to turn on the holiday lights and read a wintertime story on Friday, November 24. Create holiday craft projects at Sister Bay Library, Saturday November 25.

Egg Harbor Holly Days: November 24 & 25

Enjoy an old-fashioned winter weekend with children’s activities, horse-draw wagon rides, caroling, tree-lighting, and more. Meet Santa and Egg Harbor’s Therapy Dogs Friday, November 24 for tree lighting and caroling. Saturday, November 25, meet Santa for breakfast and Bingo with the Egg Harbor Historical Society at Kress Pavillion. Join One Barrel Brewing for a fun run, before an elf-hunt, hot chocolate bar, and photos with Santa, and live music.

Ephraim Christmas in the Village: December 2

Celebrate with Santa and his reindeer with holiday crafts and snacks at the Village Hall December 2 from 3-5:30. Take a horse-drawn wagon ride through the village and join Santa at Harborside Park with his elves and reindeer to light the Christmas tree. Visit Ephraim business’s open-houses all day.

Baileys Harbor Holiday & Tree Lighting: December 3

Meet Santa and his elves and reindeer at Baileys Harbor Town Hall. Taking place from 6 – 8 pm Saturday, December 3,  enjoy crafts, family activities, and tree lighting all with hot chocolate and cookies.

Christkindlmarkt: November 24-26, December 1-3, December 8-10

Located at the Corner of the Past Museum in Sister Bay, shop local weavers, knitters, potters, photographers, jewelers, painters, woodworkers, glass blowers and more! At Door County’s traditional European Christmas market, enjoy a warm, spicy mug of Glühwein and delicious winter food. The Market is open from 11am – 7pm Friday and Saturday of weekend’s one and two, and 11am – 6pm weekend three. Hours Sunday’s during the season are 11am – 3pm.

Sister Bay New Year’s Eve Celebration: December 31

Sister Bay celebrates New Year’s Eve with shopping, ice skating, dining specials, fireworks, and a bonfire. The FM 106.9 The Lodge Cherry Drop hosts the evening, with music and fun. Leading up to midnight, watch the giant sparkling cherry cherry drop to welcome the new year!

  • Biggest, Finest, Fairest

    There was a time in the not-too-distant past when the end of summer was signaled in Door County by the arrival of the Door County Fair. The county fair of yesteryear was an event big enough to garner a sizable portion of front-page news, as indicated by the Door County Advocate headlines (opposite) announcing the […]

  • Len Villano

    New Fest, New Fun

    The best of Door County’s festivals start with fun at heart. Fall Fest began as an end-of-season party for the locals. Fish Creek Winter Games earned its crowd not from tourist trappings, but from local oddities like the cherry pit spit and bike toss. And the county’s most popular parades – on New Year’s Day […]

  • How Sister Bay Fall Festival Got Its Start

    At age 95, long-time Sister Bay resident Lester Berns likely remembers as many of the town’s fall festivals as anyone. He and his brother, Robert, started a lumberyard there in 1941, returned to the business after four years in service during World War II and operated it until 1970.

  • Celebrate Craft Beer in Baileys Harbor

    The wait for Door County’s first beer festival is over. Over 1,000 people are expected to hit the grounds of the Baileys Harbor Town Hall on June 16 to celebrate the finest in craft beers from around the world.

  • Len Villano, foosball, human foosball

    Human Foosball

    Most of us have memorable moments playing the fast-paced table game of foosball, whether in a bar, a college frat house, or a friend’s basement. To fill in those who have lived a foosball-free life, the playing table looks like a miniature soccer field with walls. Players use small figures attached to rotating rods to […]

  • Man Vs. Pig at the Valmy Thresheree

        Perhaps the most popular event at the Valmy Thresheree weekend is the Pig Wrestling Competition. Each year, 15 to 20 teams in men’s and women’s divisions compete in a foot or two of mud for cash prizes. Teams have come from as far away as Iowa, Southern Indiana and Milwaukee for a shot. […]

  • Taking It to the Bridge: Steel Bridge Songfest

    Door County’s reputation as a haven for the arts is strong and far-reaching; each year, the peninsula lures countless artists and non-artists alike with its vibrant art and music scene. But long before the days of galleries, potteries, and outdoor theaters, visitors were drawn to the peninsula by its vital position in the Great Lakes, […]

  • Land of Midnight Sun Comes to Light in Door County: Scandinavian traditions in the Door

    Scandinavians staying in Door County have been known to experience a more friendly type of “Stockholm Syndrome” whereby the affected travels thousands of miles to feel as if he never left home. Case-in-point is recent Swedish immigrant Helene Ingsten-Anderson, owner of Flora Special Occasion Flowers in Sister Bay, who sees glimpses of her homeland at […]

  • Music Man Charlie Eckhardt is Leading the Parade

    Like Professor Harold Hill in The Music Man, Gibraltar Schools’ music teacher Charlie Eckhardt is leading the parade…and his students are keeping step. Since first walking through the Gibraltar Schools’ music room in 2000, Eckhardt has won the hearts of teachers, students, and parents. With an infectious enthusiasm that radiates through his students, Eckhardt’s influence […]

  • Fresh Picked: Family-style Fall Festivities

    The sky seems a bit bluer, and the air surely feels a bit brisker. At this time of year, there’s something to be said for just sitting quietly and watching the leaves turn color, but with all of the activity surrounding the peninsula’s autumn harvest, it would be a shame not to reap some of […]

  • Door County 4th of July Celebrations

    Independence Day isn’t just the 4th on the peninsula. Four days of live music, children’s activities, parades, fireworks, and arts and cultural experiences keep you entertained from dawn till dusk in all corners of the thumb. July 1 Fish Creek (at Clark Park)Food, fun, and music all evening by the harbor, including a Venetian Night […]

  • 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 […]

  • An Ode to Fall Fest: Sister Bay’s Homecoming

    This column originally appeared in the Oct. 14, 2005 edition of the Peninsula Pulse.

    It’s the one weekend of the year when Door County utterly betrays the sedate, relaxed image it has worked

  • Fyr Bal, Joyce Gerdman, Scandinavian, Festival, Door County Festival, Door County

    Fyr Bal: 50 Years of Celebration in Ephraim

    Each year on the weekend closest to the summer solstice, the Village of Ephraim undergoes a transformation. Normally a tranquil lakeside community, known for its pastoral atmosphere and deep sense of history, during this weekend the village unfolds into a flurry of activity for ‘Fyr Bal’—one of Door County’s best known, if least understood, cultural […]