Mark Your Calendars   July 22, 2023

The Wabeno Art and Music (WAM) Fest is proud to announce that the 8th Annual Wabeno Art and Music Fest will be held on July 22, 2023 at the Wabeno Bandshell.

The free Wabeno Art and Music Fest, a one day event, is on July 22, and will feature musical performances by local , regional and out of state artists, dancers, featured local vendors, art activities plus a wide variety of food and beverages. And yes the cream puffs and waffle fruit bowls will be back!

Here’s what you can experience!!  Get your senses ready!

Easy to find on the main drag of town, WAM Fest is located right on Wisconsin State Highway 32. On your right is Larry the Logroller standing 21 feet 9 inches tall and next to Larry is the Wabeno Band Shell. The big red marquee letters, “WAM Fest” tells you that you are at the right place! Across from the band shell, you will find the 1st Wabeno Street Market, running from 11am-4pm. Music starts at 12pm.

Park your vehicle and take an easy stroll to the continuous sounds of music by local, in-state and out of state performers. Right away you’ll be welcomed by local resident Scott Swosinski who’s serving as the Master of Ceremonies for this 8th Annual Wabeno Art and music (WAM) Fest.  Enjoy the “Grit & Gravel Tour” of Nervous Hermus & the Buskers to start the day performing their original music.

At 1 pm enjoy a special reception, next door at the American Legion Post 44 to recognize area student artists (middle school and high school), their families, and art teachers where the student’s art will be on display. Check out what the youth are creating and support their efforts.  Ribbons and certificates will be awarded to the student artists.

On the band shell, you will be entertained by “Honeysmoke” with lead singer, Ellie Donaldson, a Wabeno High School graduate, and her fellow musicians from UW Madison. Enjoy their eclectic mix of blues, grunge, punk, indie, and pop, depending which way the wind blows that day.

What’s a Festival without delicious food and wide variety of beverages. Choose from an array of food and beverages including vegetarian choices. And yes, the cream puffs and waffle fruit bowls will be back! Plus, enjoy Tim’s delicious “Texas Beans”.

Your spirits will be lifted by “Santy & Son & Friends”, followed by a mix of two Wisconsin musicians, “Living Room”, and “Rich Uncle Willie”-Neil Schlachter.

Don’t forget to check out the Street Market, again all close and easy to get to. Browse to your hearts content at the 30+ vendor booths of wares including jewelry, furniture, syrups, cold brew coffee and candies by a local food producer, homemade goods and more. Maybe purchase some art made by the neighboring Townsend art group and/or Antigo Visual Arts members. Non-profit groups like the Legion, area ATV club, Lions Club, Antique Power Association, Wabeno Area Players and Friends of Wabeno will be on hand to invite you to join their important community work.

Both entertaining and educational, a local Alpaca farmer will allow you to get up-close and personal with her gentle giants while learning all about them. They’ll eat from the palm of your hand, do all sorts of tricks, and give the best cuddles this world has ever known. There will also be Alpaca products to   purchase.

If you have kids, be sure to bring the youngsters to the Artful Activities tent for creative fun by trying a variety of acrylic painting methods on canvas. Take it home or give your art to a friend.

Need to stretch your legs and still be able to hear the music, take a walk on the Barrier-free Boardwalk and Nature Trail behind the band shell. Enjoy the best of Wisconsin’s beautiful rivers and streams in the Northwoods.

Back on the bandshell, your heart will be warmed by the Navah Mirage belly dancers. Enjoy a beverage or two and purchase a raffle ticket. It may be your lucky day! Who doesn’t like a performer making it big from Nashville? She’ll be at WAM Fest, and she’s named, Mean Mary and plays Americana, bluegrass, blues, folk…and at 8pm get ready to shake, rattle, and roll with Conscious Pilot, a fresh and powerful sound that is familiar and fun.

At the end of the day, you won’t believe you’re still in a small rural town in Wisconsin. The day will feel like you’ve lived through many genres of amazing music! And it’s free! Your presence shows support for live music and the arts and also help fund next year’s event and other Friends of Wabeno projects. Wabeno townsfolk thank you and invite you back!

While you’re in town, why not stay at one of the new Airbnb’s, area campgrounds or Carter Hotel? Take in some of the flair of the local restaurants and attractions like the Big Easel Bistro & Gallery, the Wabeno library and The Phoenix and  the Historic logging museum.  Climb the WWII Army tank. Pick up pocket guides of this historic logging town at the Welcome tent. Stroll around town and learn about the buildings and the people who established the town starting in 1897.