Whooping Crane Festival

Boy at Whooping Crane Festival
Photograph by Hannah Kallio

The Whooping Crane Festival is a truly unique celebration of community, crafts, and conservation. This year's festival takes place on Saturday, September 9, on the grounds of the Princeton public schools.

First and foremost, this festival celebrates the return of the whooping crane from the brink of extinction. From an all-time low of only 23 birds in 1941, the population has rebounded to over 600. Central Wisconsin serves as the summer home for one of only two wild populations worldwide. Princeton is privileged and proud to play a part in this success story.

The event gives you and your family an opportunity to learn about a broad spectrum of wildlife conservation efforts from experts from around the state and the world. Even more importantly, they can suggest lots of ways you can be involved in conservation wherever you live and no matter your age. You can hear from a wide variety of experts speaking on different environmental topics from wolves to turtles and, of course, whooping cranes. You'll gain a greater appreciation for all kinds of wildlife.

The fun starts with a pancake breakfast at 8:00 a.m. There will then be an amazing assortment of activities indoors and out until 4:00 p.m. Admission and activities are free, and wonderful Wisconsin food is available for purchase.

Several local artists and craftspeople will also be on site throughout the day sharing handmade crafts and gift items. There is a silent auction, guided tours, a trivia challenge, and activities for the kids.

The festival is made possible through a partnership between the Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce, Operation Migration, local bird lovers, and other nonprofit organizations. You can find out more at princetonwi.com or by calling the Chamber at (920) 295-3877. You can also visit operationmigration.org or reach Operation Migration by phone at (800) 675-2618.

Hannah Kallio is a freelance writer, speaker, and coach. Learn more at hannahkallio.org .