International Wisconsin Ginseng Festival
Returning in 2022!
One of the main goals of the International Wisconsin Ginseng Festival (IWGF) has always been to celebrate the industry and highlight the ways in which ginseng is a critical part of the economy and culture in Marathon County. As such, the ginseng producers themselves have played an essential role in every aspect of the festival’s success. They have utilized their networks to help market the festival to an international audience, have contributed significant funds to sponsor many of the programs and events related to the festival, and have given generously of their time and energy on the festival weekend and throughout the planning process. Another primary goal of the ginseng festival was to create an opportunity for ginseng growers to bring in VIP clients from overseas and showcase their products in an exciting and fun way. This has been good for the ginseng industry, but also good for tourism in Marathon County, as we saw a large influx of overseas visitors, primarily from China, during previous festivals.
Because the ginseng industry is heavily connected to the Chinese market, things like trade tensions and the coronavirus have ripple effects for ginseng producers in Marathon County. Despite this, there are several ways that the industry is building on the success of the International Wisconsin Ginseng Festival. Wisconsin Ginseng: Gold Standard Days is an event that takes place locally during December and brings in many companies and commercial guests from overseas. Thirty-six companies from eight countries were represented in 2019. Additionally, the IWGF has prompted the creation of Wisconsin Ginseng: International, an event to take place in China in 2021 with plans to move to other countries throughout the world.
However, this process takes considerable time and ginseng is a small industry when it comes to the number of producers. For that reason, it has been decided that the IWGF be postponed. This decision was not made lightly and is made in conjunction with leaders within the industry. We want to be sure that every producer in Marathon County can focus their efforts and resources on strengthening and growing their business in 2020 and 2021. Postponing the festival allows us to sharpen our vision and goals, putting a greater emphasis on serving the domestic market by continuing to engage the community with the festival atmosphere, promoting the health benefits of ginseng, and highlighting the positive financial contributions the industry has on our local economy. The ginseng industry continues to explore markets and make progress in new and exciting ways, and we look forward to the festival’s return in 2022.
Ginseng infused cuisine, beverages, music, dance groups, chair lift rides, dig your own root, historical tours, educational sessions, cooking demonstrations, 5k run, vendor exhibits, children's activities, and more!
Interested in becoming a festival vendor or sponsor? Click here!
Some sample images from the 2017 festival!