MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Throwing a party

At these festivals, all kinds of things fly through the air with the greatest of ease.

Ham-Put contest during Winterfest.

© Amana Colonies

The Ham-Put is part of Winterfest in Amana, Iowa.

When people in Wisconsin are happy, they throw things — and we’re not just talking confetti.

For New Year’s Eve celebrations in Prairie du Chien, farther down the river, a frozen 29-pound carp called “Lucky’’ drops 100 feet — after everyone's had a chance to kiss him first. In Plymouth, an 80-pound wedge of cheese drops 100 feet at midnight.

In Spooner, frozen turkeys are flung at bowling pins during Jack Frost Fest in January, and folks in Mount Horeb heave them during Scandihoovian Winter Festival in February.

In Lake Mills, teams toss frozen bluegills back and forth during February's Knickerbocker Ice Festival. During Bockfest at Capital Brewery in Middleton, the brewmaster lobs smoked chub (like carp, a rough fish) off the roof at the beer-guzzling crowd.

For Winter Festival in Fish Creek in early February, adults toss toilet seats, pie tins and bicycles, and the kiddies sling tubes.

In Gilman, a forest village west of Medford, there's a frying pan toss during February's Sniegfest.

Other tossing towns

In Iowa’s Amana Colonies, pigs fly in January during Winterfest, where people with strong arms compete in the Great Amana Ham-Put. Weaklings can heave wienies at the University of Okoboji Winter Games, on the other side of Iowa.

Minnesota is too polite to do much flinging, but folks in International Falls do bowl turkeys during Ice Box Days in January.

In February, they toss corn during Winterfest in Duluth.

And if you’d rather push than pitch, head to the Upper Peninsula to compete in the Trenary Outhouse Classic in late February. Prefer to pull? Compete in the Human Dogsled Races during Winter Festival in Houghton.

Summer flings

People like to toss things in summer, too. The central Wisconsin town of Princeton kicks off the summer season with the Memorial Day weekend Rubber Chicken Fling, which features a chicken-flinging contest.

And then there's the Minnesota port town of Two Harbors, where Heritage Days in July includes a lutefisk toss.

In Iowa's Madison County, the town of Macksburg hosts the National Skillet Throw Festival each June. Participants hurl 3-pound cast-iron skillets at dummies dressed in overalls. There's also a parade and children's pedal tractor pull.

Over Labor Day, the Wisconsin River town of Prairie du Sac stages the Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw, which includes children's chip chuckin' and a Tournament of Chips parade.

But the champion in summer is the Iowa State Fair in August, which holds dozens of contests. The Des Moines fair holds a women's rubber chicken-throwing contest and a cow chip-throwing contest.

And, for good measure, it's got people pushing outhouses, too.


Last updated on December 29, 2016