BY JEFF POTTS
Event City is back! We’ve waited long enough and finally it’s time to get back to the business of fun as Oshkosh rolls out the red carpet this month for many of the top events that make us a great tourist destination.
Let’s start with our museums.
First, a giant Event City welcome to the Military Veterans Museum & Education Center, 4000 Poberezny Road. After many months of planning, fundraising and construction, Oshkosh’s newest museum is finally open for business. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. For more information, find them on Facebook, or visit them at www.MVMWisconsin.com.
The Oshkosh Public Museum just unveiled a new exhibition titled “Attack of the Bloodsuckers.” Visitors through September 7 will explore the science of what’s biting us in this skin-crawling exhibition. Examine the what, why, where and how of mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, leeches and other parasites.
Across the street at the Paine Art Center & Gardens, they are preparing for the installation of the touring exhibition “Matisse as Printmaker: Works from the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation.” More than 60 pieces of artwork including etchings, monotypes, aquatints, lithographs and linocuts will highlight the full range of Matisse’s printmaking techniques and subjects. It opens June 28 and runs through October 19.
For some fantastic local artwork make sure to check out the 57th annual Winnebagoland Art Fair on Sunday, June 8 in South Park. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., fine art and fine crafts will be on display in this juried event for the whole family. The day includes food vendors and live music.
If you’re more in the mood for music than artwork, Oshkosh has plenty of that this month as well.
The Waterfest Concert Series kicks off its 29th year of Rocking the Fox River on Thursday, June 19 with a Summer Solstice Party featuring the Cool Waters Band, Sam Llanas, and Vic Ferrari. Admission is $12 before 7 p.m., $15 after 7 p.m. with a 2-for-1 admission offer before 6 p.m. Teachers and military veterans are admitted free to the Leach Amphitheater. The other June Waterfest date is Thursday, June 26, with music by Tin Sandwich, Paul Sanchez & Minimum Rage, Copper Box, and Los Lonely Boys.
Other highlights on the Waterfest schedule include: Sister Hazel on July 24, Gin Blossoms on July 25, and Ted Nugent on Saturday, July 16. The Waterfest schedule wraps up with Hairball on August 21 and America on August 22.
Country USA lands at Ford Festival Park on June 24 through 28. Headliners are Luke Bryan, Brantley Gilbert, Gary Allan, Florida Georgia Line, and Carrie Underwood. We hope you got your tickets early because for the first time in 19 years, Country USA is a sell out!
Oshkosh Irish Fest returns to the Leach Amphitheater June 12 to 15. Thursday night is Celtic Rock Night with performances by Small Town Delinquents, The Kissers, and Whiskey of the Damned. Friday night features the Gothard Sisters and Scythian. Saturday includes performances by Kennedy’s Kitchen, The Gleasons and Gaelic Storm. And Sunday begins with a traditional Irish Mass followed by main stage entertainment from Kim Robertson, Brian Cunningham, Richards School of Irish Dance, Kennedy’s Kitchen and Bill O’Donoghue.
Admission at the gate is $5 on Thursday, $10 on Friday and Saturday, and free on Sunday (they will accept donations of non-perishable food or money for the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry prior to 10 a.m. mass on Sunday). More details are available at www.OshkoshIrishFest.com.
June also marks the crowning of a new Miss Wisconsin right here in Event City. The scholarship pageant takes place June 18 through 21 inside the Alberta Kimball Auditorium at Oshkosh West High School. Preliminary competition will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen Competition will be held on Friday, and the new Miss Wisconsin will be crowed on Saturday night. Showtime is 7 p.m. each night. Tickets are $15 on Wednesday and Thursday, $20 on Friday and $40 on Saturday for the finals.
Finally, please help welcome back the award-winning Oshkosh Saturday Farmers Market. They open the summer season on Saturday, June 7, and will operate each week from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the 400 and 500 blocks of North Main Street. The market features fresh, local produce, meats and cheese, as well as artwork, crafts, information and live entertainment. New this year is the addition of Farmers Market gift certificates. And make sure to join them for the official dedication ceremony of their new sign in downtown at 10 a.m. on opening day. The ceremony will take place at the market offices, 547 N. Main St.
For more information on these and other great events happening this summer in Oshkosh, Wisconsin’s Event City, head to www.VisitOshkosh.com.
And, as always, for a complete list of fun in Event City, head to www.VisitOshkosh.com. ν
Jeff Potts is the marketing director for the Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau, the official destination marketing organization for Oshkosh and Winnebago County.