- While Wisconsin farmers are hard at work harvesting the state's # 1 fruit crop, thousands of people enjoyed the fruits of their labor.
This weekend marked the 33rd annual Cranberry Festival in Eagle River. Every cranberry concoction you can think of-from vinegars to jams, soaps to lotion, it’s packed into the Cranberry Festival. Each year the event draws in over 40,000 visitors.
"Everybody keeps coming back because it's a lot of fun, and there's something for everyone,” said Kim Emerson, event coordinator with the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce, “We've got the cranberry beer, cranberry soda, and of course the Craisin's and the cranberries themselves."
The fresh-from-the-bog berries are definitely the star of the show. Each year they sell nearly 10,000 pounds of them.
"They're all the hand-sorted, premium, select berries. So they have the real deep maroon color," said Emerson.
Besides berries over 300 venders come together to sell handmade and homegrown goods, and celebrate the season and beauty of the Northwoods.
Some vendors and their customers have been coming back for decades. Now they sell cranberry fare, you can't find anywhere else.
Paulette Anderson of “The Bogs Cranberry Specialties” has been a part of the festival for 33 years.
“Since the beginning,” she says, “We’ve got potpourri, and such that we've made with the cranberry leaves, that's what we started with. Then we went to cranberry air fresheners… We now have the cranberry wax melts and candles, or ‘crandles’ we call them."
Sunday afternoon marked the end of this year’s cranberry festival. Cranberry farmers will continue to harvest for the next several weeks.