Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Day
Saturday, May 27, 2023
The Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum (WCHM) in Spooner is once again making plans to celebrate Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Day in 2023 on Saturday May 27 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. This free event marks the opening of the thirteenth season for the museum, and will include open house in the museum exhibit hall, ongoing activities in the canoe workshop, live music and food and beverage outdoors in the beer garden, a silent auction and canoe raffle, and of course the Canoe & Wooden Boat Show.
Canoe & Wooden Boat Show
The Canoe & Wooden Boat will be the highlight of the day. Over twenty exhibitors are expected to display wooden boats of all shapes, sizes, and designs --both classic and modern-- as well as all kinds of classic and vintage water and paddling related items.
Already registered to display is Tom Matthiae of Hayward. He will be bringing a 14 foot wooden lapstrake canoe that he built. Stewart River Boatworks from Knife River, Minnesota, will have two solo canoes, a Solitude and Firefly, and two tandem canoes, an Ami and Mon Amie, for sale. Mike Knuth of Duluth will be showing his 1930s Thompson Brothers Indian model canoe which he restored in 2015. Many Waters Boatworks from Minneapolis will be showing a canoe custom made for YMCA Camp Menogyn. Megan Johnson from Pine City, Minnesota, will have her handmade Megusta Paddles on sale.
Boyd Lindberg is a new exhibitor from Bull Valley, Illinois. He will be showing his 1939 Penn Yan Car Topper Rowboat. Gery Herrmann is coming from Barrington, Illinois, with his newly restored 1912 Old Town Guide. Chris Parson from Park Ridge, Illinois, is bringing a 1928 17 foot Kineo Special built by the Kennebec Boat Co in Kennebec, Maine, and fully restored in 2002 by the McFarland Lake Canoe Co in Olympia, Washington. Bill Stewart of Spooner will be showing his beautiful 17 foot Salmon Wherry and a 14 foot row boat from Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary. These were just a few examples of the exhibitors you can expect to see in 2023.
There is always room for more, booth space is free, and reserving a space is easy. You can access an online registration form here or below. You can also request a printed version by emailing to info@wisconsincanoe heritagemuseum.org or calling 715-635-2479.
Food & Music In The Beer Garden
While the Canoe & Wooden Boat Show goes on through the day, the outdoor beer garden will once again feature food, beverage, and live music on the “back porch” stage. In 2023 we’ll enjoy the music and shenanigans of Blu Kanu and also Les Fils du Voyageur, along with burgers, brats, and beverages from Bent Paddle Brewery in Duluth.
Blu Kanu performs crowd favorites from the 70s through present times. These two sibling troubadours engage the audience and create an atmosphere where folks want to join in singing or play one of the many percussive instruments the duo shares. With a lot of positive energy when performing, they make the most of their "sibling DNA harmonies."
Les Fils du Voyageur brings the fur trade era to life through songs of the voyageurs. Performed a capella in three part harmony, and portrayed in authentic period costume, Les Fils du Voyageur present an extensive collection of paddling, working and playing songs that paint an exciting historical overview of the life and times of a voyageur.
The 2023 Canoe & Wooden Boat Show on May 27 at the Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum will once again include an auction of various items that have been recently donated to the museum. A relatively new feature of the boat show, the silent auction gives attendees the opportunity to take home some unique bargains on items, and at the same time support museum fundraising efforts.
Here is a list of items we expect to have in the auction:
Annual Canoe Raffle
A major fund raising activity for the WCHM is the annual canoe raffle. The winning ticket holder will have their choice of two canoes: an 18 foot 1946 Old Town Guide (serial #146660) newly restored in the WCHM Canoe Shop, or a 16 foot cedar canvas Duet Canoe built in the WCHM Canoe Shop in 2023 on a MacKenzie-Yost Duet form. Tickets will be available at the boat show for $20 or six for $100. Although the final drawing will not be until September 24th, there will be several drawings for intermediate prizes during the boat show.
Where to Find Us:
The Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum is a 501c3 volunteer led non-profit organization based in Spooner, Wisconsin (312 N Front St). Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Day is a free event in Spooner produced by the WCHM each year on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend from 10 am to 4 pm. For more information call 715-635-2479 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org. For nearby motel lodging we recommend Best Western Riverplace Motel at 715-635-9770. For camping, travel, or other lodging information contact the Washburn County Tourism Association at 800-367-3306.