Savor and Sample Fest to show off county food on Sunday

Savor and Sample Fest to show off county food on Sunday

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Columbia County's annual celebration of all things locavore moves northwest this year, with Sunday's annual Savor and Sample Fest taking place at the Thunder Valley Inn near Wisconsin Dells.

This is the third year that the University of Wisconsin-Extension has sponsored the Savor and Sample Fest to showcase the vast variety of foods produced in Columbia County.

A locavore is someone whose diet consists primarily or entirely of foods produced near his or her home.

A Columbia County locavore's choices are a veritable smorgasbord.

Kathleen Haas, community resources educator for the UW-Extension Columbia County, said the variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products and other foods produced in Columbia County would surprise even many locavores.

That's what visitors will see and taste at the Savor and Sample Fest, which Haas describes as a combination of farmers' market, cooking demonstration, educational event and "free family fun day."

"The diversity of produce and animals grown offers residents the opportunity to consume products that have been recently picked, butchered or bottled," she said. "Usually, the produce is picked daily to ensure the freshest taste and quality."

This year's event includes several new features:

• A farm tour, in which visitors can ride Wisconsin Dells' famous amphibious "ducks" for a visit to a working milking parlor.

• An appearance by the reigning Alice in Dairyland, Katie Wirkus.

• A chocolate, beer and cheese tasting. This requires advance registration, by calling Sarah Lloyd at 920/210-7335, or emailing Lloyd at

• Informational sessions on raising chickens in rural or urban settings. (Local ordinances vary.)

• Workshops on topics such as foraging for local food, or preserving foods.

Back is a farmers market, featuring foods grown in Columbia County.

Also, there will be cooking demonstrations.



If you go

What: Third annual Columbia County Savor and Sample Fest.

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. (Attendees may come as early as 8:30 a.m. for a local-foods brunch.)

Where: Thunder Valley Inn and Farms, W15344 Waubeek Road, one mile north of downtown Wisconsin Dells.

How to get there: From Portage, the easiest way to get there is to travel west on Highway 16. At the intersection with Highway 23 near Wisconsin Dells, proceed on Highway 13 north for about one mile, then follow the sign directing traffic over a narrow bridge. Travelers also may use Interstate 90/94 and exit at Exit 87, travel through Wisconsin Dells and turn left on Highway 13 at the intersection.

Cost: Admission to the event is free, but some activities (such as the beer, cheese and chocolate tasting) have a fee, and food will be offered for sale.


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