Cedarburg Its Rich History and Plentiful Entertainment

Hailing from southeastern Wisconsin and lying off the banks of Cedar Creek, the Town of Cedarburg merges its strong heritage with vibrant entertainment and shopping to form its modern culture.


Cedar Creek and the Hilgen/Schroeder mill

Cedar Creek began drawing Irish and German immigrants to its banks in the 1840s because of its use as a power source. For this reason, its first settler, Ludwig Groth built his home along its waters in 1842. Shortly after, Frederich Hilgen and William Schroeder bought land from Groth and constructed a grist mill.

As the years passed, more settlers arrived and built dams and mills. One mill, in particular, called the Wittenberg Mill, was built in 1864 and became the only woolen mill located west of Philadelphia that produced worsted yarn. Today this mill forms the Cedar Creek Settlement, a compilation of shops, a restaurant, and a winery. This winery provides tours of their facility and tasting of a various selection of red and white wines.

Cedar Creek Wine

After the arrival of the railroad in 1870, Cedarburg greatly prospered, building hotels to accommodate any business travelers or visitors, as well as churches, mills, taverns, and businesses with limestone that was taken from two local quarries.

The Washington House Inn built of local limestone

Several years later, in 1876, Cedarburg built a covered bridge based on a petition by local farmers wanting to replace washed out bridges. Today it is the last standing Covered Bridge in Wisconsin and has become a symbol of the Cedarburg community.

Finally, by 1885, the population had grown to 1,500 and was thus incorporated into Ozaukee County. Cedarburg then integrated this rich cultural heritage into their entertainment.


Cedarburg boasts festivals all-year round for great family entertainment.

Ice blocks line Washington Ave, ready for artists to create masterpieces at Winter Fest. Kicking off this year's Mardi Gras theme, the Grand Parade will feature costumed bed-racing teams that will shine in a race across ice at Mill Pond. Events range from a Chili eating contest, to a dog pulling competition, and then a Pancake Breakfast.

Beauty School Dropouts race their bed across Mill Pond

Strawberry Fest offers the sugary delight in a variety of forms including brats, crepes, ice cream, and more. The fest also highlights some of the best Midwestern artists that showcase their paintings, jewelry, ceramics, photography, and other mixed media down Washington Avenue. Kids have fun at Cedar Creek Park with a bouncy house and a petting zoo, and more food!

Strawberry Man and then an artist's painting at the Fest

At the Wine and Harvest Fest grapes are crushed competitively, giant pumpkin boats are raced in the Grand Pumpkin Regatta, and hayrides are given. Don't miss out on some great fall fun and food!

Grape Crushing Contest

Oktoberfest has you travel back to Cedarburg's German roots. Enjoy traditional folk music, dancing, and a live Glockenspiel, a cuckoo clock, as well as Bratwurst, Schnitzel, and specialty beer! People also compete in a contest for the best lederhosen/dirndl, as well as in a German spelling bee, and a Sauerkraut eating contest.

Traditional German Folk Dancing at Oktoberfest

Musicians, comedians, and artists come together through the Cedarburg Cultural Center to showcase their creativity across the town. In the summer, on every Friday evening, Cedar Creek Park hosts Summer Sounds, brimming with people, delicious food, and great music.

One of the last free fairs in the Midwest, the Ozaukee County Fair is held in Firemen's Park in Cedarburg. From viewing all the 4H projects and animals, consuming creme puffs and other fair delicacies, experiencing the thrilling rides, and watching the demolition derby. You won't want to miss the Fair.

The Rivoli Theatre offers cheap concessions and tickets for a great blockbuster movies, and also plays Christmas movies during the holiday season.

Cedarburg unifies the past with their present to provide the community with a great cultural experience.

Photo Attributes

Jim Bauer (Flickr)-- Cedarburg Wooden Bridge

Dave Biermann (Flickr)-- Cedarburg Mill

OnMilwaukee.com -- Cedar Creek Wine

J-PN -- Railroad Track

Elvis Kennedy (Flickr) -- Covered Bridge Park 8, the Falls on Cedar Creek, The Washington House Inn, Strawberry Man, Rivoli Theatre

Dave (Flickr) -- Winter Carnival

Randy Scherkenbach -- Cedarburg Winter Fest

Cedarburg.org -- Strawberry Fest, Cedarburg Summer Sounds, Ozaukee County Fair

Milwaukee Journal Sentinal files -- Winter Fest, Grand Pumpking Regatta

Ozaukee Magazine -- Wine and Harvest Fest

Festivals of Cedarburg -- Oktoberfest

WISN.com -- Oktoberfest

Pixabay -- creme puffs, lamb

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