Despite changes to how endangered whooping cranes are released into the wild, the community of Princeton continues to be the spring, summer, and fall home to a number of these fascinating, beautiful birds. The area’s commitment to the protection of whooping cranes and nature in general is inspiring, and it’s reflected through the annual Princeton Whooping Crane Festival.
The festival takes place Friday through Sunday, September 11 to September 13. Princeton Public School has been home to Saturday’s main festival activities for six years, with the seventh anticipated to be another phenomenal weekend. The Whooping Crane Festival committee works hard to plan activities for the whole family, and starts Friday night off with field-trip opportunities.
Saturday’s schedule includes guest speaker Pat Fisher, with her live raptors from the Feather Wildlife Rehab/Education Center; live animal ambassadors from Marsh Haven Nature Center; crowd-favorite children’s edutainer David Stokes; children’s activities, including face painting, birdhouse painting and building, and more; and the annual art and craft fair featuring nature-related vendors and exhibitors.
With plenty to see and do on Saturday, be sure to fuel yourself at the start with the pancake breakfast served by the Princeton school students and staff. And later that day, lunch will be available for purchase by the Princeton Lions Club. Both meal providers have been a part of the event each year since the event came to Princeton, making it a true community event.
While the day will be full of educational and entertainment opportunities, you can join the Whooping Crane Festival committee in the evening at the Princeton VFW for pasta and trivia. Teams will battle in the hope of being the 2020 winners.
The weekend finishes with another field trip on Sunday, which will showcase the area.
See the full schedule of events at princetonwi.com or visit their Facebook page as the date gets closer.
Alyssa Paulsen is a freelance writer.