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Wo-Zha-Wa Festival in Wisconsin Dells September 12, 13, 14, 2008
Okay, so your first thought might be "Why in the world is a festival called something as crazy as Wo-Zha-Wa?"
I just happen to have an answer for that! It's a Ho-Chunk Indian phrase that pretty much means "Let's Have Some Fun!"
The festival signifies the end of the summer season in Wisconsin Dells and the beginning of Autumn with 3 days packed full of things to do and see.
There is an arts and crafts fair, an antique flea market, a parade, a street carnival, live entertainment, and the 41st annual Wo-Zha-Wa Run where participants can choose to run a half marathon or do a less taxing four mile run (even a four mile run would do me in!)
There is also a Maxwell Street Days event where many local businesses have great deals on merchandise they are hoping to sell before they lock the doors and pull the shades until next Spring. Although more and more businesses are staying open all year long in Wisconsin Dells due to the huge popularity of the indoor water parks there, many still only stay open during the summer months.
Here's the full event listing for the weekend: Friday, September 12 Concessions all day Maxwell Street Days, 7 am - 5 pm Antique Flea Market, 7 am - 7 pm Arts & Crafts Fair, Noon - 5 pm
Saturday, September 13 > Concessions all day Maxwell Street Days, 7 am - 5 pm Wo-Zha-Wa Run, 8 am Antique Flea Market, 7 am - 7 pm Arts & Crafts Fair, 9 am - 5 pm
Sunday, September 14 Concessions all day Maxwell Street Days, 7 am - 5 pm Antique Flea Market, 7 am - 3 pm Arts & Crafts Fair, 9 am - 3 pm 100-unit Parade, 1:30 pm
Why not attend the festival and camp for the weekend? There are more than 2 dozen private campgrounds in the area; plus Devil's Lake State Park with its awesome scenery and great hiking trails is nearby, as well as Mirror Lake State Park.
Sherwood Forest Campground, right in Wisconsin Dells and just a short walk to downtown Wisconsin Dells, is offering a special for Wo-Zha-Wa days. Campers who spend Friday and Saturday (September 12 & 13, 2008) night at the campground, get to stay free on Sunday night (September 14, 2008).
There is also horseback riding at 2 local stables .
Plus Cave of the Mounds national natural landmark is less than an hour from Wisconsin Dells and is worth the trip to see the crystal formations and underground pools.
Of course, it's always fun to just hang around the campfire and relax, maybe reading a book or taking a nice nap.
If you're wondering about Lake Delton, which broke through its banks in June during heavy rains and flooding, completely emptying the lake, reconstruction is underway and the lake is expected to be full of water again by next spring. But don't worry. Even without the lake, there is plenty to do and see in Wisconsin Dells this time of year.