An annual event will highlight the blossoming of cranberry plants in the heart of cranberry country at Warrens on June 30.
Photo By Andy Manis
Cranberry Blossom Day June 30 in Warrens
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," says Barbara Hendricks, director of the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center in Warrens.
This year's event - on Saturday, June 30 - is sponsored by the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center, Wetherby Cranberry Company and the Warrens Area Business Association.
The Wetherby Cranberry Company is offering free tours from 9 a.m. to 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 100-year-old marsh, as well as explaining how cranberries are grown.
Also at the Wetherby marsh, Wisconsin Honey Queen Sarah Rushfeldt and Monroe County Honey Queen Rachel Reeck will be demonstrating recipes featuring cranberry blossom honey from 9 to 10 a.m.
Warrens Cranberry Festival Queen Chelsie Popp and Princesses Courtney Sankey and Grace Schroeder will be presenting recipe demonstrations from 10 to 11 a.m.
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, the members of the Open Door Baptist Church will serve a cranberry brat lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
New this year at Cranberry Blossom Day is an artist and producers showcase sponsored by Create It! The showcase will be held at 103 Main Street in the former Quilting Plus location.
Participants include Kathleen St. Germain and Fred Wiener, both of Warrens; Tomah Arts Guild, Tomah Area Community Theatre and Reta Epps, all of Tomah; and Sandy Williams and Albert Schmeige, both of Mauston.
The Wetherby marsh is 4.5 miles east of Warrens on county Highway EW. The Cranberry Discovery Center is located at 204 Main Street.
For more information, visit the Discovery Center's Web site at www.discovercranberries.com
or call 608-378-4878.