International Wisconsin Ginseng Fest Begins This Weekend
WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) -- Organizers of the International Wisconsin Ginseng Festival say the 2018 version is shaping up to be bigger than the inaugural event in 2017.
The popular Spicy Tie Band will return as Friday night's headlining act and Saturday brings Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo along with some new cultural performances. "We've got the Chinese Lion Dance on Saturday as well as a Chinese Mask Changer and a traditional Chinese Fashion Show," said Rebecca Bratton, the Director for the event.
The event will also allow consumers to educate themselves on the herb and its benefits. "You can learn how it's used in medicine and what kind of benefits it has for your health," said Bratton. Presentations and displays on ginseng's history in Marathon County and what makes the area ideal for growing will also be featured.
Organizers also hope to use the event to allow those who might not be aware of how versatile ginseng can be with food and beverage samples. "You can actually get to the senses of it. You can taste it, feel it, touch it. You can learn a lot."
Bratton says the significance of the event extends well beyond bringing entertainment to the stage of the 400 Block for a weekend. Producers use the event as a chance to network and set up potential future sales as well. "It's really good for the market. It helps get the word out about Wisconsin ginseng and it helps educate the average consumer who might not consider ginseng in their lives."
Opening ceremonies begin at noon on Friday and will feature proclamations from State, County, and Local leaders including Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and Wausau Mayor Robert Mielke. Representatives from local producers Hsu's Ginseng and Baumann Ginseng will also be recognized.
A complete schedule of events for the festival can be found here.