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RACINE COUNTY — The Village of Rochester will continue with its 26-year-old tradition on Sept. 17. The Day in the Country fall festival opens up Historic Downtown Rochester for a full day of fun.

Credit: Day in the Country Facebook page

On the docket for the day is an arts & crafts fair, car show, produce sales, petting zoo, live music, wagon rides, a pie contest, and more. The fun starts at 10 a.m. and goes until 3 p.m.

Day in the Country is an annual festival that brings together the town’s businesses, churches and community members, inviting outsiders to explore what the Village of Rochester has to offer. A small group of locals formed the fest over two decades ago and now others continue the town’s tradition.

Sara Damaschke, a local to Waterford and teacher in Kansasville, is the lead for the Day in the Country committee. Her advice is to “bring cash, wear good shoes, bring a can koozie, and plan to stay awhile.”

Local offerings

Credit: Emma Widmar

Businesses such as Fox & Fork, Chi, Tree and Oils, New to You Consignment, DW coffee, Scungilli’s Italian Sandwich shop, Chances, The Edwards Building, and others will open up shop on the day of the festival.

  • Business owners, such as Scott Chenier from Fox & Fork, will be on the scene hosting wine tastings.
  • Jessie Vyvyan from Riverside Studio (see their business spotlight) will be offering chair massages.
  • DW Coffee will provide coffee, smoothies and bakery items.
  • Chances gives those attending a chance to grab a bite to eat at their outside bar.

There will also be a pie contest hosted by the Rochester Area Historical Society. Anyone is invited to join in this part of the festival. Bake your best pie dish and bring it to the Edwards Building between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and wait to see if your pie earns a thumbs up. Pies will also be set for auction. Learn more by visiting the Historical Society’s Facebook page.

Day in the Country Activities

Wagon rides

Day in the Country is an event that is fun for the whole family. Channel those fall vibes by taking a free wagon ride through Historic Downtown Rochester. Damaschke shares, “the wagon ride is donated by a local farmer. He also brings us all of our hay (to borrow) for the day.”

Car Show

Mosey over to the Day in the Country Car Show at the Rochester Fire Department, 31020 Academy Road, to gaze at collectible cars. The wagon ride travels to the volunteer fire department from town. It is also within walking distance from downtown Rochester.

From 9 a.m. until when awards are distributed at 2 p.m., the yard at the fire department is bumper to bumper with cars worth seeing. Fox & Fork’s owner shares, “anywhere from 300 to 400 cars register and then, additionally, hundreds of cars show up to look at.”

Credit: Day in the Country Facebook page

Kids Zone

A Kid Zone is open until 2 p.m. to provide children with fun activities to do. Community State Bank sponsors the zone. Check out the petting zoo hosted by the local chapter of Future Farmers of America.

Arts & Crafts fair

The arts and crafts fair is a big hit at Day in the Country. Damaschke notes during the pandemic, the event continued and was so successful that, “vendors were running out their supplies and had to go home and get more.”

Expect to see local woodworkers, crochet products, jewelry, pottery and more. Vendors will be scattered downtown and also setting up shop at First Congregational Church, 103 S. State St.

Giving back

Proceeds from Day in the Country go directly back to the community. The money benefits local area schools, the beautification of Rochester, and other community-centered projects in the community.


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