Manitowoc Sputnikfest 2022 takes place on the grounds of the Rahr-West Art Museum

ByJames I. Robertson

Sep 7, 2022


MANITOWOC – Post-Labor Day lakeside fun starts with the extraordinary sputnikfest on the ground of the Rahr-West Art Museum Saturday.

The festival commemorates the crash of 1962 of the Russian Sputnik IV spaceship in the middle of North Eighth Street in Manitowoc, directly across from the museum.

Sputnikfest was named one of the top five funkiest festivals in the country by Reader’s Digest.

Here’s more information on Sputnikfest, plus four other things to do this week in Manitowoc.

1. Attend a wacky and fun Sputnikfest

Cody Vande-Zehms, 3, of De Pere, Wis., is well protected with a Star Wars storm trooper during Sputnikfest, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, in Manitowoc, Wis.

It’s time for Manitowoc’s wackiest festival to commemorate the piece of Sputnik that landed right outside the Rahr-West Art Museum!

On Saturdays, aliens, humans and animals of all ages are invited to the museum, 610 N. Eighth St., for a 5k art walk/run, children’s activities, costume contests, live music , trivia, an Alien Drop raffle and more. .

The festival is open from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday. The program for the day is as follows:

  • Noon – 5K Art Walk/Run;
  • Noon-4:30 p.m. — Live music with Dr. Bombay;
  • 12 p.m.-5 p.m. — ArtSlam activities;
  • 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Wacky Weekend Workshop: Rocket Building;
  • 1:00-3:00 p.m. — The 501st Legion walks the grounds;
  • 1-3 p.m. — Lakeshore Robotics does demonstrations;
  • 3:00 p.m. — Alien animal contest;
  • 3:30 p.m. — Costume contest for children;
  • 5:00 p.m. – Alien Drop 50/50 raffle;
  • 5-9pm — This band from the 90s performs;
  • 5:15 p.m. – Sci-Fi Trivia Contest; and
  • 7:00 p.m. — Space debris costume contest for adults.

For all the details, visit

2. Take part in ArtSlam activities

Art Slam Challenge Artist Sonia Vasquez works on her Ron Stokes People's Choice Award winning painting.

ArtSlam, led by the Lakeside Artists Guildtakes place in conjunction with Sputnikfest on Saturday.

A few blocks down Eighth Street from Sputnikfest at 502 N. Eighth St. is the First Presbyterian Church, which is the surface of this year’s community mural. Grab a brush and channel your inner artist as you help paint the mural by number.

More information is available at

3. Show off your super-fandom at the Sabbatical Brewing cheer rally

Kick off the football season by showing your green and gold pride at Sabbatical Brewery835 S 29th St., at 6 p.m. Saturday.

There will be special appearances from Frozen Tundra Man and Green Bay SuperFans, music from Lakeland University and food from Blue Suede Foods.

Prior to the 2:30 p.m. pep rally, the Wisconsin Badgers game will be shown in the dining room.

Version 2 of Sabbatical’s hazy Session IPA SuperFans hits draft lines and limited cans at the cheer rally.

For more information, check out the brewery’s Facebook page at

4. Experience old-fashioned fun at Mid-Lakes Thresheree

Threshing crew at the Manitowoc County Historical Society.

Spread over Saturday and Sunday, the Mid-Lakes Threshere at Pinecrest Historic Village924 Pinecrest Road, is the perfect place for old-fashioned fun.

Learn about the roots of Wisconsin’s agricultural past as you see vintage farm machinery at work, interactive historic homes and exhibits, and watch a variety of demonstrations.

For the busy calendar of events, visit

The courts are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for children ages 4-17, and free for children under 4 and museum members.

5. Experience live music at the Franciscan Center for Music Education and Performance

Franciscan Center for Musical Education and Interpretation

Head to the Franciscan Center for Musical Education and Interpretation6751 Calumet Ave., Friday for their final episode of Fireside Friday.

Musical guest BuckShot will perform from 6-8 p.m. this Friday.

To learn more about the artist’s journey and his set list, visit the Facebook event at

The City of Manitowoc Department of Tourism, under the Visit Manitowoc brand, is responsible for facilitating an active relationship with the city’s hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions to promote Manitowoc as a state and national tourist destination. To contact the Direction du Tourisme, send an email [email protected] or call 920-686-3508. To learn more about upcoming events, follow @VisitManitowoc on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok or visit

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