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Turn Up the Juice on Your Next Wisconsin Getaway

Eagle River’s breathtaking natural scenery and abundance of outdoor activities make it a top Wisconsin destination. Travelers will encounter a large serving of Midwestern hospitality, as well as world-class events such as Cranberry Fest, Paul Bunyan Fest, and Up North Beer Fest. Don't miss the opportunity to take in the fall colors within the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest and Anvil Lake Trail State Natural Area.


Cranberry Fest has been the go-to fall event in the region since it began nearly four decades ago, and it will take place October 7-8 at the Vilas County Fairgrounds and in downtown Eagle River. Visitors will encounter a massive celebration with tens of thousands of attendees centered around Wisconsin's state fruit, the cranberry. Attendees can sample a variety of cranberry-flavored foods including cranberry brats, bakery goods, sauces, and salsas. Cranberry beers will also be available to purchase. Launching each morning from the festival grounds, tours of the local cranberry marshes will highlight the cranberry growing and harvesting process. An open-air antique market will have unique and hard-to-find items, and the farmers market will include fresh produce from a variety of local farmers and producers. Make sure not to leave before sampling a piece of the world's largest cheesecake. interviewed Kim Emerson, Executive Director of the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce to learn more about this great fall celebration.


RAL: How long has the event been running?

KE: This will be the 38th annual Cranberry Fest.


RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?

KE: Each year the event attracts almost 45,000 people over the weekend.


RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?  

KE: The event primarily attracts couples and girlfriends out for the weekend, but we do see many families. This event is a fall pilgrimage for many.


RAL: What makes this event unique?  

KE: The event promotes the harvest of Wisconsin’s state fruit, the cranberry.  It’s everything cranberry and more. We have fresh cranberries and craisins, delicious foods, warm autumn drinks, homemade goods, and much more.


RAL: Take me through the activities of a day at the event.   

KE: Cranberry Fest is open on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. For a full breakdown of the activities, visit our website.


RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?  

KE: The Cranberry People and Cranberry Charlie Bear may pop in to greet visitors.


RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?  

KE: There will be a variety of foods at the fairgrounds with and without cranberries. Plus, Eagle River is home to many excellent restaurants and supper clubs.


RAL: Tell us about the overall atmosphere.   

KE: The atmosphere is family-friendly and welcoming. We encourage everyone to enjoy our great shopping and tasty cranberry treats.


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

KE: The Eagle River area has a wide variety of lodging opportunities from local mom and pop hotels to beautiful resorts. Visit here for a complete listing of accommodations, restaurants, area activities, and more.


RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?  

KE: Yes, very much so. Our patrons spend money at businesses all over town.


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

KE: Yes, there are many service organizations, school groups, and not-for-profit groups who participate and raise funds for their organizations.


RAL: Does lodging hit max occupancy during the event?  

KE: Yes, occupancy does get very full, but there are many communities close by with excellent accommodations.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?  

KE: For years now this event has been an annual pilgrimage for many of our visitors. This event offers a variety of unique experiences and something for everyone. It’s a weekend of festival fun, dining, and enjoying the Northwoods scenery and lakes during our beautiful fall season.


For more information about the Cranberry Fest, please visit the event website.