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Travel Experience: Birchwood Bluegill Fest

Travel Experience: Birchwood Bluegill Fest

I have been attending the Birchwood Bluegill Fest since I was a baby, and this year was no different. For Bluegill Fest they shut down the whole town (which is 1 street) and all 442 members of the community attend. This only sad thing was that the weather was not very good. It was raining during the day when most of the events were. I was only able to attend the events at night, but still had so much fun.


The Vibe

Ok, so you have to remember that this is an EXTREMELY small town of 442. When I say everyone knows each other I’m being serious. Bluegill Fest has the biggest small-town vibe you will ever experience. The whole town comes out, and they will be there all day and all night. Since it is such a small town it can be slightly intimidating if you are alone. At times I felt like I didn’t fully fit in because I knew literally no one. When I was there with my friends and people I knew I felt like I fit right in because I had “My People”.


Mousebury Downs

Now, this is something you will only find in Birchwood. It is a square container with colored blocks. There are a certain number of each color on the board and there is a hole in each square with food at the bottom. The people running the game will put a mouse in the box and it will run around. Spectators place bets between 25 cents and $2 on which color hole the mouse will put its head in. If you are correct you win. The mouse does not need to go into the hole, it only needs to go in up to its ears.

This might be one of the most fun things to watch during Bluegill Fest because people get extremely into it and will be screaming at the mice to go in a certain color hole. The later the day gets the funnier it becomes to watch Mousebury downs because people might not be totally sober. The bets and noise seem to increase with alcohol consumption.


Miss Bluegill Pageant

When I was younger the main reason I wanted to go to Bluegill Fest was to see the new Miss Bluegill and Little Miss Bluegill be crowned. I used to look up to her and think she was so old. I wanted to be Miss Bluegill when I got older. Every year there is Little Miss Bluegill, Miss Bluegill, and two princesses crowned. Luckily this year there was only three Miss Bluegill candidates so everyone got a crown. It is a very quick ceremony, but always a fun thing to attend. It is typically held on the first day of the festival.


The Music

The music at night is from 9 pm to 1 am.

The first night (Friday) was the country music night and a band called Austin Fire performed. I went with my friend Olivia, and we stayed until 11:45 pm. Austin Fire was better than I expected and played a very wide range of country music. Most of the people there were just sitting around and listening to the music. Not many people were dancing. Olivia and I had fun but we kind of felt out of place because people were standing around in groups talking amongst themselves and we were alone. That said, we made the most of it and had fun.

The second night (Saturday) was the classic rock night and a band called Divided Highway performed. This night I went with a larger group of people. Part of the group left at about 10:15 pm. Olivia, George and I stayed until about midnight. The second night was by far more fun and lively. There was significantly more people there and everyone was really into the music. At about 10:30 people decided to all crowd the stage and dance. It felt more like a real concert. Since the music was rock music it was more up beat and easier for people to dance to. When we left there was still plenty of people rocking out to the music.

If you were only going to the one night of the music I would recommend going to the second night because it is more like a party.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, I had a lot of fun at Bluegill fest this year even though I only went to the activities at night. Normally during the day, there are craft fairs, bean bag tournaments, bake sales, a parade, and a few other things. If you have ever wanted to see what a true small town is like the Birchwood Bluegill Fest is the event to go to. Hopefully next year there will be better weather. If you have the opportunity I would 100% to check out the Birchwood Bluegill Fest next year!


Check out my other articles about Birchwood, Wisconsin!

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Travel Experience: The Enchanted Barn

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Travel Experience: Barron County Fair