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…then you’ll find much to love about Wisconsin this weekend!  Here’s just a quick look at eight places to explore great music, great dancing & GREAT FUN!

June 23rd – 27th:
Country USA – Oshkosh
Billed as “five days of non-stop, world-class entertainment featuring country music’s biggest and hottest headliners“, Country USA features a “$2.1 million dollar talent lineup, coming together for the biggest show of them all.” PLUS great food & shopping.

June 24th – 26th:
Star Spangled Celebration – Richland Center
Held in Krouskop Park, Star Spangled Celebration brings country music to southwest Wisconsin. Headliners include Dierks Bentley, Daryl Worley,  Phil Vasser, Neal McCoy and Wynonna Judd.

June 24th – 27th:
Country Fest – Cadott
And even MORE of country music’s hottest stars will be in northwest Wisconsin as well: The line-up includes Blake Shelton, Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Darius Rucker & Reba.

June 25th:
Big Woods Big Band and Dance Party – Washburn
Billed as “northern Wisconsin’s most popular dance jazz orchestra” the Big Woods Big Band will be performing at STAGENORTH in Washburn Friday night. Includes free swing dance lessons before the concert as well!

June 25th – 27th:
Fiesta Waukesha – Waukesha
Held in Waukesha’s Frame Park, festival goers will find “a wide variety of Hispanic entertainment” plus “Latin American cuisine, amusements rides, children’s area, youth tent and arts/crafts marketplace.” Free admission for all.

Willard Annual Polka Fest – Willard
Friday night kicks off three days of great polka bands. Admission from $6 (Friday), $10 (Saturday) and $9 (Sunday).

St. Anne’s Polka Fest – Wausau
Great Polka music and dancing from Friday to Sunday plus Bingo, Fish Fry, Craft Sale, Beer Garden & more!

And the big daddy of them all… Summerfest in Milwaukee – 11 days of music featuring more than 800 bands across 11 stages: June 24th – July 4th.

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We’ve saved the best day for last! There are eight fabulous getaways up for grabs on the last day of our Stay Longer Weekend/National Tourism Week promotions PLUS a bunch of giveaways happening all day @TravelinginWI on Twitter.

Here are the details!

We want to know how we can make the Stay in Wisconsin blog better! What would you like to read about? What would you write about if you could? What will keep you reading?

Eight winners will be randomly picked to win one of today’s great blog prizes:

1. an overnight at the Holiday Acres Resort on Lake Thompson in Rhinelander
|2. a night at the Jefferson Street Inn in Wausau
3. a stay at Ross’ Teal Lake Lodge in Hayward
4. a free night at America’s Best Value Inn in Fort Atkinson
5. an overnight at The Delafield Hotel in Delafield
6. a stay at the Lakewoods Resort in Cable
7. a free night at the Voyager Inn in Door County
8. $250 Best Western gift card to use while you explore Wisconsin

Blog contests will end at 4:30 pm CDT and comments must be posted to this article to be eligible to win!

Twitter contests include stays at Staybridge Suites Middleton, AmericInn Sturgeon Bay, Westwood Shores Waterfront Resort, Spur of the Moment Ranch, and Percheron Paradise! Twitter prizes are being given away throughout the day. Follow @TravelinginWI for more details on how to enter!

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Yep, half way through winter in Wisconsin & there’s still plenty of festival fun to be had…

February 19-21
Madison Winter Festival
Family fun from tubing to snowshoeing, ice carving and snow sculpting, plus running, walking, biking and more all around Madison’s Capitol Square.

February 20th
Chilly Fest, Menomonie Falls
Includes Chili cook-off and ice carving contests, food, games & live entertainment at Mill Pond Park.

2010 Freeze Fest, Whitewater
Rise and shine with a pancake breakfast by the Kiwanis, then head out for a carriage ride or family skating time and much more! Freeze Fest is also one of the three Polar Plunge events this weekend in Wisconsin (see below for more).

Mardi Gras Festival, Wausau
Food & drink specials plus fun family events at Granite Peak Ski Hill.

February 20-21
Klondike Days, Eagle River
Head to Eagle River for a full weekend of family fun including snowshoe races, lumberjack competitions, plus a winter rendezvous encampment. Be sure to also check out the traditional Ojibwe dances by the Waswagoning Dance Theatre.

February 20thPolar Plunge for Special Olympics
In addition to the Polar Plunge during Freeze Fest in Whitewater, brave souls will also be raising money and making the plunge in Madison & Oshkosh on February 20th. To learn more & check for Plunge dates/ locations near you, visit the Special Olympics website.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ2GfBgSIyo]

As always, head on over to WisconsinLodging.info and start planning your Wisconsin winter getaway!

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It’s been awhile since I’ve shared some of Wisconsin’s fun festivals and celebrations with you, so check out this list below of five great ways to enjoy January in Wisconsin…

January 22-24
Waukesha JanBoree, Waukesha
With many fun indoor and outdoor events across Waukesha, you’re sure to find something for everyone in your family! Click on over to their site to learn more about the Frosty 5K Run/Walk, downtown’s Ice Sculpting Contest, the AMCW Dog Pull and more.

Flake Out Festival, Wisconsin Dells
With “Wisconsin’s only state-sanctioned snow sculpting competition“, sleigh rides, tubing, ice maze and more, you’re sure to find lots of ways to enjoy the great Wisconsin winter outdoors. When it’s time to warm up, stop in to the Art & Craft Fair or the Kid’s Craft Corner.

SchneeFest 2010, Elkhart Lake
Why search for a needle in a haystack when you can head to SchneeFest for an ice cube hunt! With dog sled demonstrations, snow sculpting and a chili cook-off contest, there’s lots of fun to be had!

January 23rd
Owl Prowl, Bong State Recreation Area
Learn more about owls & why they’re such good nocturnal hunters, but dress warm! This event runs from 8:30-10:00 pm.

Polar Dash/ Tropic Bash,  Madison
Kids have cabin fever? Head over to the Olbrich Botanical Gardens and this fun family event for some outdoor fun & competition. Then head inside for snacks, hot drinks and a walk through the Conservatory.

Still can’t get enough great winter sports? Mark your calendars for the 2010 Badger State Winter Games, beginning January 29th in Wausau. Click here to see the full line up of scheduled events.

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Did you know that there are roughly 1,600 water parks worldwide and more than 1,000 of them are here in the U.S.?

ActionMan-ChaosWaterparkWater lovers need not travel far and wide to enjoy the thrills of water slides or lazy rivers.  Wisconsin boasts dozens of indoor & outdoor water parks including the newly opened Chaos Waterpark in Eau Claire.  Attached to the Metropolis Hotel and adjacent to Action City Entertainment Center, Chaos features water slides such as Twister, Bailout, or Hurricane Run.

If you’re not headed towards Eau Claire, you’ll still find plenty of wet & wild fun at Wisconsin water parks around the state.  We’ve already shared a few Wisconsin Dells spots with you in this post, but check out some of the others as well:

The Waters of MinocquaWatersOfMinocqua
This northwoods-themed park features indoor-outdoor hot tub & pools along with water slides and kiddie pool and guests of the hotel have free access to the water park throughout their stay.  When you’re ready for some dry fun, check out the mini-golf, horseback riding or go-carts near the hotel.

LodgeAtCedarCreekLodge at Cedar Creek, Wausau
At 50,000 square feet, the Lodge at Cedar Creek in Wausau is one of the largest in northern Wisconsin.  Kids will love the anticipation of waiting to be drenched by the 800 gallon tipping bucket.  Of course, you can’t head to Wausau & not catch a Woodchucks baseball game!

TimberRidgeTimber Ridge Lodge, Lake Geneva
Families heading to the Lake Geneva area won’t want to miss the fun at this indoor/ outdoor water park with two interactive splash pools, water slides, lazy river & more. Parents can also enroll kids in the “Kids are Grand” day programs which allow grown-ups free time to enjoy the nearby Well Spa + Salon or get in a round of golf at either the Brute or Highlands courses.

BWmidwayBest Western Midway Hotel Riverfront, La Crosse
If your travels take you to the Mississippi River this summer, be sure to check out the Best Western Midway’s tropical themed, indoor water center.  Kids and adults alike will enjoy  slides, geysers, whirlpools and more!  Of course, La Crosse is also home to a Northwoods League team, the La Crosse Loggers.

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Wisconsin has an amazing array of great places to see and stay, either with family, on business, or with your significant other.  Check out just a few of these places featured below:

Final Family Festival Weekend at Granite Peak
If your family’s idea of a great weekend getaway involves downhill skiing, horse drawn sleigh rides and fireworks, be sure to check out the last Family Festival Weekend at Granite Peak Ski Area in Wausau this Friday through Sunday, March 13-15.  Packages are currently available at the Best Western Midway Hotel and Jefferson Street Inn & include lodging, lift tickets, ski or snowboard rental, brat cookout and more.

Motorcycle Enthusiasts can now Ship their Bikes
Guests of the Iron Horse Hotel, Milwaukee’s “first urban boutique hotel geared toward motorcycle enthusiasts” can now take advantage of special rates with HaulBikes.com to ship their bikes from anywhere in the U.S. to the Iron Horse Hotel for their next trip to Milwaukee.  If you don’t want to ship your own bike, but would still like to explore Wisconsin on two wheels, the Hotel also offers guests motorcycle rentals.

Weekend Getaways to Green Lake area
With spring just around the corner (really!), now’s a perfect time to get out and explore new destinations such as Ripon & Green Lake.  Yes, Ripon is the home to the Rippin’ Good Cookie Outlet.  Read more about what to do, where to find great pizza, and special packages available at the Heidel House Resort in this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel feature.

(To get more monthly travel specials delivered to your email, simply sign up for WisconsINN Getaways.)

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