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An All Ages Winter Celebration in Wisconsin's Festival Hub

Cedarburg is the ideal destination for family getaways in the Upper Midwest. The town is home to over 100 historic landmarks and preserved buildings, which date back to the founding of the community in the early 19th Century. The city’s downtown area is considered a historic landmark and contains various boutiques, restaurants, museums, and inns. Visitors will fall in love with the communities top-tier live special events and festivals.


The Cedarburg Winter Festival has been a staple of the community for over four decades. It’s popular with locals and visitors alike, with thousands of people expected to attend during each day of the event. Festivities kick off with an ice carving contest along Main Street. Contestants will take a 300-pound block of ice and sculpt into a unique work of art. The weekend is packed full of activities for all ages including the IceBurg Open golf tournament, chili contests, the Winter Festival Grand Parade, and more. Cool Brew and Tunes is an ideal event for attendees over the age of 21, featuring a night full of wine, food, craft beers, and live music. got the opportunity to interview BJ. Homayouni, Executive Director of Festivals of Cedarburg, Inc., to talk about this unique winter experience.


RAL: Tell me about the event.

BH: This year we will be celebrating with a Mardi Gras theme. The popular Ice Carving Contest, sponsored by BMO Harris Bank, will set the stage along Cedarburg's main street, where 300-pound blocks of ice will be transformed into glistening blocks of frozen art!  


RAL: How long has the event been running?  

BH: This is our 43rd year and this year our event will take place February 18 and 19.


RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?  

BH: Depending on the winter weather, we can see 3,000 to 5,000 people on a really cold day. On a warmer day, attendance numbers jump up to 10,000.  It's very weather dependent


RAL: What makes this event unique?  

BH: Like all of our festivals, we pride ourselves on the unique contests that we offer.  Winter Festival is known for it's costumed bed races that take place on ice.  Teams of five (four pushing the bed and one on the bed) race for the best time. We also have a best costume category.


RAL: What activities will attendees encounter?

BH: Here is a list. A full breakdown is on our website.   

  • Ice carving contest

  • Individual chili contest

  • Restaurant chili contest

  • Free Make 'n Takes

  • Dog weight pull

  • Sno-Ball Tournament

  • Iceburg Golf Tournament

  • Cool Notes Musical Talent Competition

  • Craft vendors

  • Food

  • Cool Brew Beer Tasting


RAL: What will patrons find for dining options?  

BH: Cedarburg restaurants are open during the event weekend, and there is a festival food booth in the community center.


RAL: What is the overall environment like?

BH: It's a fun, family-friendly, and free, open air event. We do require fees to enter some of the competitions.


RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

BH: We are proud to have two historic bed and breakfast inns located in downtown Cedarburg; The Washington House Inn and The Stagecoach Inn Bed & Breakfast.


RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?

BH: Yes it does, it's the reason we have the event in the middle of winter. We aim to bring business to our Cedarburg merchants.


RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community?

BH: Our purpose is to help the economic viability of downtown Cedarburg.


RAL: Does lodging hit max occupancy during the event?  

BH: Yes, in Cedarburg and the surrounding areas. You should call well in advance to find accommodations in the area.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

BH: Many families make Winter Festival a yearly tradition because it has something to offer family members of all ages. It's a great cure for cabin fever, and it's the right price (free).

For more information about Cedarburg Winter Festival, please visit their website.