To early European immigrants, the delicate pink blossoms of cranberry vines resembled the heads of cranes, so they called the tart, red fruits "crane berries." Over time the name was shortened to "cranberry."
"During our annual Cranberry Blossom Day, you can see for yourself if cranberry blossoms really look like a crane's head," said Barbara Hendricks, director of the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center.
This year's event - on Saturday, June 29 - is sponsored by the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center, Wetherby Cranberry Company, S Lazy D Ranch and the Warrens Area Business Association.
The Wetherby marsh is offering free tours from 9-11 a.m., allowing visitors an up-close look at cranberry vines in bloom. Third-generation cranberry grower Nodji Van Wychen will be on hand to answer questions about her family's cranberry operation.
The Van Wychens are replanting some of their cranberry beds, so visitors will get a chance to see a newly renovated bed, as well as have a chance to try their hand using a "stomper," an old-time tool cranberry growers used in the early 1900s to plant cranberry vines.
After touring the marsh, visitors can learn more about Wisconsin's No.1 fruit crop at the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center.
Housed in a historic cranberry warehouse in downtown Warrens, the nonprofit center is dedicated to educating the public about the state's cranberry growing heritage.
As part of the festivities, the center will offer free cranberry wine tasting and gourmet cranberry food sampling, children's activities and reduced admission to the center's exhibit hall, which features video and audio recordings, storyboards and interactive displays.
Also at the Cranberry Discovery Center, Grace Bible Church of Warrens will serve a cranberry brat lunch from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
New this year for Cranberry Blossom Day, Dan Schroeder of S Lazy D Ranch is offering tours of his bison ranch from noon to 4 p.m. Visitors will have a chance to view baby bison and see educational exhibits.
The Wetherby marsh is 4.5 miles east of Warrens on county Highway EW. The Cranberry Discovery Center is located at 204 Main Street. S Lazy D Ranch is located at 22203 Cinder Avenue, Warrens.
For more information, visit the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center's website at www.discover cranberries.com or call 608-378-4878.