By Joe Bachman
Wisconsin Rapids is blossoming; literally — and this year’s Blossomfest will be its biggest celebration, yet.
The Cranberry Blossom Festival is set to kick off on Jun. 16-19 this summer, and from it’s humble roots nine years ago, the festival has grown from a celebration of the cranberry industry to a celebration of a blossoming community. The festival not only spans four days, but encompasses 13 different locations and venues.
According to Laura Nelson, Executive Director for the Wisconsin Rapids Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, this festival gives Wisconsin Rapids residents a chance to explore and appreciate their own community.
“This weekend is supposed to serve as inspiration for people to get out and explore the community and all that it has to offer,” said Nelson, “– to be a tourist in your own town and to visit different attractions, engage in different activities and meet new people.”
The festival will host 28 events that weekend, spanning four days in the Wisconsin Rapids area. While many activities are family friendly, there are attractions for all ages, including the South Wood County YMCA 5K Bridge Run/Walk, “Cinema Under the Stars”, and the introduction of Music Fest, which will feature seven local bands at Robinson Park in an all-day concert. Music Fest is going above and beyond by providing busing for anyone in attendance to travel safely to other events for the festival.
“The events have grown,” said Morgan Vanderhei, Marketing Associate for the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. “There are more and more events that want to be a part of Blossomfest weekend.”
From a kids fishing contest, multiple art exhibits and events, the grand opening of the visitor’s bureau, and even an appearance by the UW-Madison marching band, there is truly something for everyone.
“There’s a lot of focus on the kids and the families, and being able to get out and enjoy the community,” said Vanderhei. “It’s good to remind the community how many great things there are for youth and families, here.”
The festival favorites will also be returning, such as the vendors at Witter Field on Saturday, the carnival on all four days, and the sixth annual “Cruise-In” Car Show. However, these events aren’t just about family fun on a weekend, but according to Vanderhei and Nelson, there’s a certain level of pride to be carried and celebrated through this festival as a community member.
“It’s a weekend that people are staring to recognize,” said Vanderhei. “There’s all these fun things going on and it gives them a sense to focus on all of these positive things that we have to offer, and something that they look forward to.”
“To see the vast amount of events and array of things we have to offer on the brochure is an eye opener,” said Nelson. “We, as a community tend to take for granted what’s right in front of us all the time — so this is to bring to the surface all the amazing things, here.”
For more information and a complete listing of events, please visit http://blossomfest.com/