With a menu featuring pig wings, brisket nachos, spicy Thai tacos and alligator gumbo, even hardcore foodies should have their palates pleased at Kenosha’s lakefront this weekend.
The 11th annual Taste of Wisconsin food and music festival is Friday through Sunday (July 26-28) at Celebration Place, 206 55th St. Admission is free. Hours are 3 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.
More than 40,000 people have attended the festival in each of the past five years.
There are 40 food and beverage vendors and more than 80 musical acts — all of which volunteer their time — performing on four stages throughout the weekend. The Kiwanis Club of Western Kenosha organizes the event, which serves as the organization’s largest fundraiser.
Cash is accepted at all booths for food and drinks. There is no ticket system.
Candy Eisenhauer, owner of CD DVD Games Warehouse, 3717 80th St., is in charge of lining up the musicians each year. There is a waiting list for bands willing to donate their time for the event, she told the Kenosha News last summer.
“This is how this event started — with the musicians,” said Eisenhauser, a longtime member of the local music community. “They’ve been so generous.”
The event’s four stages are filled with familiar names all weekend, including Electric Revolution, Boys and Toys, Earthmother, the Pat Crawford Big Band, the John Crawford Jazz Band, the Dave Braun Trio, Rainy Day Crush, Dropping Daisies, Acoustic Soul, Celtic Gypsies, Jazz Wave and the Jill Plaisted Band. A complete lineup can be found at www.tasteofwi.com.
The Kenosha Police Department will conduct K-9 demonstrations at 1:20 and 2:40 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Note: Pets are no longer allowed at the event. Event organizers adopted a no-pets policy (except for service animals) in 2018 after receiving numerous complaints about pets, according to Eisenhauer.
“There was too much of a concern about it,” Eisenhauer said. “There’s just too many (pet owners) who aren’t responsible enough.”