May 17, 2018
Inside Sparta Butterfest
Posted by: Jennifer
Sparta Butterfest is every local’s favorite part of summer, maybe even of the whole year. Now in its 34th year, Butterfest is a widely considered one of the best summer festivals in all of the Midwest. During the second week of June (this year, June 7th-10th) visitors from all across the state travel to our small town for three days of all-American family fun.
The festival first began in 1984 and has been a beloved tradition ever since. Butterfest has had many different names throughout the years. It began as Sparta Fest Days and then was quickly changed to the Sparta Butter Festival in 1985. A few years later it was changed to Sparta Butter Celebration before officially becoming Sparta Butterfest in 1992. The festival gets its name from the state’s award winning butter-makers who work at the local milk plant. Contrary to popular belief, it is not an entire festival dedicated to butter (though you will find lots of delicious buttery treats while you are here.)
The weekend is jam packed with so many fun & unique events you will find yourself busy all day long. The main event of the weekend is of course the annual Miss Sparta Pageant, where the best and brightest young women of Southwestern Wisconsin show off their talents and compete for academic scholarships. However, if pageants aren’t your thing, you will find plenty of other fun activities and competitions to keep you occupied throughout the weekend.
If you have a competitive streak, consider competing in one of Butterfest’s annual tournaments. There’s a cornhole bean bag tournament, a 3-person golf tournament, a softball tournament, a kids bike decorating competition, wrestling matches, and even a cow milking contest. Head to the Craft & Flea Markets to browse locally made goods or swing by the Quilt Show to admire (and maybe even purchase!) one of the beautiful patchwork creations on display. There will also be live music in the Fest Tent and on the main stage.
And of course, no summer fair would be complete without a carnival and a parade. The massive A&P features all the classic carnival games and rides you could want with a unique Butterfest twist. This is also where you can get all those traditional fair treats, including funnel cakes, Wisconsin ice cream, cotton candy, and all things deep fried.
The weekend ends with a gigantic parade on Sunday at 12:30 pm. Thousands of Wisconsinites line the street for this huge and festive parade that features area bands, civic organizations, car collectors, horses, and more. Bring non-perishable food items to contribute to the Butterfest Food Drive and you’ll be having a good time while supporting a worthy cause.
The only way to find out why Wisconsites love Butterfest so much is to come experience it for yourself. Butterfest happens the second week in June, from June 7th through June 10th. Visit the festival website for more information. We’ll see you there!
Planning a trip to Sparta, Wisconsin for Butterfest? Book a stay at the lovely & historic Franklin Victorian Bed & Breakfast located in the heart of beautiful Southwestern Wisconsin.