Every season in Oshkosh offers a unique calendar of events. Whether you’re spending time with the whole family or wanting to go on a solo adventure, you’ll find the fun you crave at one-of-a-kind events that are only found in Oshkosh.
Battle on Bago, February 22-23
For one weekend every February anglers from all over the Midwest converge on Lake Winnebago for Battle on Bago, the largest ice fishing tournament in the country. Battle on Bago is a family-friendly event that is as much fun for young kids as it is for seasoned professionals. The winter edition of Battle on Bago awards more than $275,000 in cash and prizes and with the structure of how the prizes are awarded, anyone has a chance to go home a winner. Along with the fishing, attendees and participants can gather in the large, heated tent for great food, drinks, live music and raffle prizes.
Hops and Props, March 9
Beer tastes better in Oshkosh – especially at Hops and Props! EAA’s 15th annual premier beer-tasting event is back and bigger than ever. Tickets include unlimited samples of some of the finest beverages in the world, access to delicious food stations, live musical entertainment that will keep you on your feet all night long and a commemorative tasting glass. Representatives from the breweries you love are on hand to answer any and all questions you have about their craft.
Hops and Props also features a beer dinner like no other. For an additional cost, you can enjoy a gourmet, five-course meal with food and beer pairings selected exclusively for VIP guests with a featured brewery. The full-service dinner includes early access to the general admission event. Tickets are extremely limited. All funds support free-of-charge community events such as Christmas in the Air and EAA Skiplane Fly-In.
Oshkosh Half Marathon, Relay, & 5k, April 28
Lace up your shoes and get ready for the Fox Valley’s most scenic marathon. Experience the serenity and beauty of the Wiouwash Trail and enjoy the trail's softer surface, which gives your body a break from the pavement. Check out the full event schedule here. The mission is to bring fitness into the lives of all ages and abilities while raising money for local charities. To date, the Oshkosh Marathon has raised over $200,000 for the Oshkosh Boys and Girls Club, Christine Ann Center, the Oshkosh Area Humane Society and various school athletic programs.
Festival of Spring, May 18
Festival of Spring is a free, outdoor event featuring the Paine’s annual spring plant sale and more than 100 vendors of original art, fine crafts, plants and garden supplies. As a great source for a wide selection of perennials, the Paine’s spring plant sale offers thousands of tried-and-true plants as well as new and hard-to-find varieties. The festival also includes fair food and live entertainment.
Paine Members receive early admittance to the spring plant sale at 8:00 am. The general public are welcome from 9 am to 4 pm. The Paine mansion and gardens are open for free during the festival. Inside, the Paine features the exhibition Maker & Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry, and outdoors, the gardens feature 15,000 blooming tulips and spring flowers. Check out The Paine website for more information.
LifeFest, July 11-14
A party with a purpose! Lifest is the largest Christian music festival in the nation with more than 150 acts on 7 different stages. The family-friendly festival features camping, a market place, food vendors, a kidzone and numerous other activities. In 2018, Lifest had record-breaking attendance as it celebrated its 20th year and debuted a new, permanent stage on the Sunnyview grounds. Headliners for 2019 include Skillet, For King and Country, Casting Crowns, Mathew West and more. Reserve your tickets or check out some of the other performers.
Waupaca Boatride Tournament, July 12-14
The Waupaca Boatride/US Open Grass Volleyball Tournament is held on the second Saturday of July each year in Oshkosh and has become one of the largest grass volleyball tournaments in the country. The tournament, which features men’s, women’s and co-ed divisions, has grown into a 4-day volleyball event, with a juniors clinic and other adult and juniors tournaments on the days before and after the main tournament. Camping, live music and plenty of food and drink vendors create an enjoyable, festival-like atmosphere. You can click here for more information about signing up, location, schedules and amenities. General admission is free.
EAA AirVenture, July 22-28
EAA AirVenture, the world’s greatest aviation celebration, is marking the 50th consecutive year of its annual fly-in convention in Oshkosh this year. The event, which was first held in Milwaukee made its way to Oshkosh in 1969 and has not left since. The 2019 air show will feature F-16 Viper and F-22 Raptor demonstration teams, heritage flights, daily air shows (including spectacular night air shows on select nights), live music, twilight flight fest, youth and young adult activities and much, much more. Keep up with the latest news and find tickets on the AirVenture website.
by Paige Owens and Ryan Harvot