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Winter Festivals and Events You Don't Want to Miss
Christmas in the Village, Dec. 1
Ephraim at Christmastime is a sight to behold! Enjoy fun family crafts and a visit from Santa before heading outside to see the Christmas tree lighting in Harborside Park.
Harbor Holiday, Dec. 1
See the abundance of Christmas trees decorated by local businesses and families then enjoy a Christmas Parade, arts & crafts and a tree lighting ceremony, all in Baileys Harbor.
Sister Bay New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31
Celebrate New Year’s in Sister Bay with shopping, ice skating, a bonfire, dining specials, and an early evening fireworks show. The Cherry Drop countdown starts at 10:30pm.
Polar Bear Plunge, Jan. 1
Each New Year’s Day since 1986 the Polar Bear Club goes for a refreshing dip in the icy water of Lake Michigan in Jacksonport to welcome the New Year.
Winter Festival, Feb. 1–3
Door County’s most notorious winter event takes place in Fish Creek and features live music, quirky games, delicious food, the “Fruit Loop Fun Run,” a fireworks display, and a “Smokin Hot” Chili Cook-Off.
Pond Hockey Tournament, Feb. 9
The tournament takes place on Kangaroo Lake in Baileys Harbor with 60 teams competing in nine divisions. Concession stands, fire pits, and warming tents help keep spectators warm.
Sturgeon Bay Fire and Ice Festival, Feb. 16
Watch ice carvers and professional snow sculptors work their magic before attending the Fire and Ice Gala with live music at Stone Harbor Resort.
Jaime Corbisier Forest, The Creator of the Sister Bay Cherry
On the evening of December 31, 2018, the village of Sister Bay and local radio station 106.9 the Lodge will host the second annual New Year’s Eve Cherry Drop countdown and celebration. We talked to Jaime Forest about how the cherry drop came to be, how the official cherry was created, and what we can look forward to this year as we welcome 2019.
What is the New Year's Cherry Drop and why a cherry?
The “Cherry Drop” is similar to the Time Square New Years countdown giant ball drop, but better because instead of a ball, it’s shaped like a giant cherry! We felt that we're known as "Cherryland," so we went with a cherry to be true to one of the icons of Door County.
How did the event get its start?
The New Year’s Cherry Drop came to be in 2017 when the owner and team members of local radio station 106.9 the Lodge pitched the idea as a way to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Sister Bay. The Sister Bay Advancement Association welcomed the new event as a way to bring the community together and celebrate the new year.
Who designed the cherry and how did you come up with the dimensions?
Like all great ideas, it was designed on a cocktail napkin. Corey Corbisier, my brother, took the idea into fabrication and is the creator and weldor along with Duane Corbisier, my father. The cherry started out much smaller but when we saw the first sample, we knew immediately that it needed to be much bigger. It became somewhat comical, but we made the cherry as big as we could make it and still get it out the garage door. If we had a bigger shop, it might be bigger yet!
What exactly is the cherry made of?
The cherry is made from strips of aluminum welded together, over 600 LED lights, and a bunch of zip ties that hold the lights to the frame. The cherry weighs in at over 400 pounds.
How did the first annual Cherry Drop go?
It was COLD! We knew it would be cold, but not record-breaking cold. Air temperature at midnight was -9 degrees. The station electronics were freezing up and would shut down saying “going into safe mode.” The extension cords were so cold they were stiff as sticks and we were all a little nervous that the crane wouldn't start. Despite the chilly weather we still had a fantastic turnout with roughly 1,000 people filling the street at midnight. We anticipate around 3X that for 2018–19... and I don't know how it could be any colder, so the weather should be great in comparison!
Is there anything new for this second year?
New for the 2nd Annual Cherry Drop will be an official midnight toast of Sparkling Cherry from Lautenbach's Orchard Country Winery. We also have a signature cherry vodka cocktail. There's rumblings of a bigger/taller crane, more outside activities after the Sister Bay fireworks, and a fun party atmosphere at cherry ground-zero.
What would be your ideal way to spend New Year's in Door County?
Reserve a room with a hot tub, hike/ski one of the state parks (I'm partial to Newport or Whitefish Dunes), grab coffee in Fish Creek, go out for a nice dinner, then head to Sister Bay of course to enjoy the village lights and countdown to midnight with the Cherry Drop. Wake up for a late brunch, join (or watch!) the polar plunge, followed by a good football game.... and make sure to use that hot tub more than once!