Landscape: Sister Bay & Fall Festival

Last October, four girlfriends and I spent the weekend in Door County, Wisconsin. It was a sunny, albeit cool, weekend, but the lack of rain made for a great day at Sister Bay’s 70th Fall Festival.

Sister Bay

The fall festival is considered to be the “granddaddy” of all festivals in Door County.  What began as a celebration and reward for the Door County tourist workers after a busy summer season has evolved into one of the largest weekend celebrations on the peninsula, which includes a parade, arts and crafts fair, food booths, live entertainment, and children’s activities. The festival runs for three days, but we only attended on Saturday. There was plenty of food and suds and music and good times.  One of the Fest’s oldest traditions, which we missed, is the famed Ping-Pong Ball Shoot.  An astonishing 10,000 ping-pong balls are released on Sunday afternoon, with a one in ten chance of winning a prize from a participating Sister Bay business.

Sister Bay Fest

At last count, Sister Bay’s population was 876. The festival brings in thousands. This little village, a popular destination for summer tourism, is also noted for Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant. Aside from the tasty meals inside, this establishment has had grass and goats on its roof for as long as I can remember. With the available technology, it’s no wonder they now have a Goat Cam, along with their usual goat-themed gift shop. (You may now proceed with a lively musical rendition of Lonely Goatherd.)

Today’s main photograph does not in any way represent the festival or the number of people present, but it does reflect the setting of Fall Festival. Sister Bay resides on the shores of Green Bay, which empties into Lake Michigan. There weren’t many people congregating by the waters as there was a stiff wind off the lake that made the air bite. Warmth was found on the main drag, protected by the buildings on either side, the multitudes of other people and with a serving of hot pumpkin pie in a cup.

For additional photos of landscapes, please visit The Daily Post Photo Challenge HERE.

If you are intrigued by Sister Bay’s Fall Festival, take an extra few minutes to watch a video that captures the fun three-day weekend.

30 responses to Landscape: Sister Bay & Fall Festival

  1. Dan Antion says:

    That looks like a ton of fun. It’s amazing how these things evolve over time into such big success stories.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      It was fun! I would go back again if only for the pumpkin pie. I think of our own Oktoberfest in Appleton and how huge it has become…hundreds of thousands of people attend every year. And now the “Mile of Music” festival in August is turning out to be quite the success story headed into its fourth year. I think we simply love music and food and being with our own kind 🙂

      • Dan Antion says:

        Assuming they serve adult beverages to go with the music and food, that all sounds pretty good. I guess I shouldn’t wear any Steelers gear 😉

      • bikerchick57 says:

        I think you would be okay with your Steelers gear, Dan. Our two teams aren’t in a big rivalry. I see people with other team jerseys on and, in fact, we have a local bar that caters to Bears fans. Go figure.

        Yes, there is adult refreshment. What would be the point otherwise?

  2. Laura says:

    I have always loved those goats on the roof. I saw them in person before the age of Web cams 🙂

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I don’t think they were out that day due to the many people and noise, but I remember seeing them for the first time when I was very young, during a trip with my family. It was magical and the coolest thing ever.

  3. Sounds like quite a time! We’re Packers fans (and my husband a Browns fan from growing up in Ohio), and we now live in the Chicago area, where there are many fellow Packer fans. 🙂


    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’m glad you are surrounded by green and gold in Chicago. I visited there a couple years ago and saw a Packer flag hanging from the balcony of a high rise apartment. Made me chuckle!

      We had a great time in Sister Bay. Hope you can get up to Door County at some point and visit the area.

      • We’ve driven through on I-90 on our way to Wyoming, but haven’t stopped. I know it’s a beautiful spot and many people from Illinois go there for weekends and vacations, as the traffic snarls attest! 🙂

      • bikerchick57 says:

        The traffic snarls are bad in Door County during the summer weekends. I like to go either during the week or off-season.

  4. Sorry, I couldn’t tell where Sister Bay is, even after checking out your About page. Nonetheless, it looks pretty. Nice place to visit for fall foliage?

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Sister Bay is in the “thumb” of Wisconsin. Door County is the top of the thumb, surrounded by Green Bay and Lake Michigan. Yes, it is an excellent place to see fall color.

  5. joannesisco says:

    Holy Goats! That’s a lot of people for such a small town!!

    I’ve got my eyes peeled on the Goat Cam – no goats yet, but just saw a mini van enter the screen. Riveting stuff … hoping for a goat soon 🙂

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Ooooooh..a mini van. Exciting. I don’t know if you will see goats today. The snow has been on and off, but now the wind has picked up all of a sudden. That might not be safe for Billy and Susie Goat to be on the roof.

      • joannesisco says:

        ok – now I feel stupid. I just read the blurb on the cam.
        It says “Note that the goats are NOT on the roof in winter! They usually go onto the restaurant’s sod roof at the start of each tourism season, in late May, continuing through mid-October”.

        Sounds like I’ll need to revisit it in a couple of months 😉

      • bikerchick57 says:

        I missed that too! It makes sense, though, given the weather in winter. I’ll have to remind you and Heather about it in May, although I have a sneaking suspicion that this will turn into Heather’s maybe-it-will-snow-again Snow Cam.

      • joannesisco says:

        hahaha!! I think you’re right.
        I was thinking of her about an hour ago as the snow was coming down rather heavily.
        For a brief moment I considered recording it and sending it to her. The moment passed without incident 😉

      • joannesisco says:

        Not to worry. It should start snowing again soon.

        {singing} Dashing through the snow …

  6. LB says:

    20 years ago, my son and I traveled the country (a long awaited vacation after 4 years of graduate school) and spend about 4 days in Wisconsin. I loved visiting there, and this festival looks like a blast!
    I’ve always wanted to get back to Wisconsin. That first photo is beautiful!

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