Ripon Travel Guide

Known for its downtown attractions, live music shows and historic sites, the city of Ripon offers a little something for everyone.

Looking for something to do this week? We’ve got you covered.

Here’s your guide to this week’s events:

Downtown Ripon Wine Walk

Mark your calendar, the Downtown Ripon Holiday WineWalk, sponsored by Brad Tagliapietra American Family Insurance, will return to historic Ripon Friday, Nov. 5. This annual event kicks off the district's holiday season and is always a great time. Tickets for the Wine Walk are sold out.

The event takes place from 5:30 to 8:30 pm and features a selection of wines from around the world. Attendees may sample up to 20 different wines throughout the evening.

Participating businesses include: Adeva, American Alchemy, American Family Insurance, Blue Sparrow WI, Chic Tique, Deja vu Boutique, Diedrich Jewelers, DiG Garden Store, Farrell's Fine Furnishings, Fiddler Creek, Hair Today, Hart Mercantile, Imagineers, IslandTree Discount, Keller + Kane, Knuth Brewing Company, Mapes Hotel, Modernista, Patina Vie, Sensational Smiles Orthodontics, Soul Patina, and Sweet n Saulty's. In addition, Traded Treasures Thrift Boutique is hosting an appetizer station at their store.

Numerous businesses will be open late during the event to provide you with an adequate dose of shopping therapy. Businesses are also open to non WineWalkers.

“For the safety of yourselves and our merchants, we ask that you adhere to proper social distancing recommended guidelines, and cooperate with any guidelines or restrictions merchants have in place at their establishment,” Ripon Main Street said in a Facebook post. “The health and well-being of our patrons and businesses is our top priority. We sincerely appreciate your patience and continued support.”

Tickets may be redeemed beginning at 1:00 pm at Ripon Chamber/Main Street office (114 Scott Street) on the day of the event. WineWalkers will start the evening at the Ripon Chamber/Main Street office, where they will receive a badge which is good for up to 20 wine tastes throughout the evening. No alcohol will be served before 5:30 pm.

Each guest will plan their adventure, proceeding to desired businesses; and may enjoy tasting one ounce of a red and/or white wine. Downtown Ripon shops and restaurants are open to the general public of all ages during this event. Wine is not permitted outside of the participating businesses. This is a Rain-or-Shine event. Proceeds will benefit Ripon's events, festivals and downtown beautification projects.

Cause of the Mondays - Thrasher Opera House

Vines & Rushes Winery will host Cause of the Mondays to benefit the Thrasher Opera House tonight from 4 to 8 p.m.

"Our Cause on November 1st is Thrasher Opera House," the winery's website says.

"Thrasher is the only non-profit concert venue in Green Lake, WI. Not only does Thrasher bring talented performers from all around our nation and the world to our small town, but it also provides educational outreach to classrooms of students, Children's Theater, an art gallery for local artists, and so much more."

25% of food sales and any cash donations during the event will go directly to Thrasher Opera House.

RC presents exhibition on Art, Activism & Intersectionality

“Art, Activism & Intersectionality: An Exhibit of Contemporary Posters” will open Friday, Nov. 5 in Caestaker Gallery of the C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts on the Ripon College campus. A lecture and opening will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The exhibit will continue through Dec. 10 and is free and open to the public.

Masks are required in all buildings at Ripon College.

Gallery hours are Tuesdays to Fridays from 2 to 5 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 6 p.m.

Art and museum studies students of associate professor of art Travis Nygard curated the exhibit, which features posters and graphics that focus on social issues of today, including topics as varied as the environment, racism, sexism, warfare and mental health.

The students are Lili Alderson ’23 of Ripon; Guadalupe “Lupita” Aviles ’22 of Wichita Falls, Texas; Nicholas Fuentes ’24 of Stickney, Ill.; Alanis Harris ’23 of Wilson, Mich.; Rae Klancnik ’22 of Villa Park, Ill., Gemma Koester-Jess ’23 of Madison; Miles Kremsreiter ’22 of Pound, Wis.; Juliette Lingle ’22 of Carbondale, Ill.; Hailey Makuski ’23 of Stevens Point, Wis.; Sarah Nakis ’23 of Lake in the Hills, Ill.; Becca Parker ’23 of Milton, Wis.; Deonte Perry ’22 of Milwaukee; Olivia “Livi” Robinson ’24 of Apple Valley, Minn.; Elizabeth “Lizzie” Tallman ’24 of Holcombe, Wis.; and Bailey Zanck ’22 of New Berlin, Wis.

Visitors to the gallery will be able to vote for their favorite posters, as well as to leave their thoughts in the gallery.

“I am particularly excited that the college is hosting this exhibition, as it provides us with an opportunity to discuss important topics that Americans are struggling with today,” Nygard said. “I am curious to hear what the community has to say, as this is an important dialogue.”

Virtual redistricting panel coming to Ripon College

The Center for Politics and the People of Ripon College and the League of Women Voters of the Ripon Area will team up to host a Zoom webinar titled “Redistricting and its Impact on Voting,” Wednesday Nov. 3.

The webinar will run from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Access is available at A post-event recording will be available on YouTube at

With the release of new census data in early August, state legislatures now will undertake redrawing election districts which will be in place for the next 10 years. This has implications for the impact of voting and for control of both the U.S. Congress and state legislatures for the next decade. The fact that the country is divided politically right now, and stalemate in government often occurs both at the national and state levels on important policy issues, complicates the process.

In Wisconsin, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers wants the redistricting commission he appointed to redraw new elections maps because of significant population changes since the last census in 2010. He already has filed a suit in federal court arguing the judicial system should be prepared to redraw Wisconsin’s electoral maps in the event of a stalemate between the governor and the Legislature.

The Republican-controlled Legislature, however, has opposed Evers’ lawsuit. It supports using the state’s current process for redistricting, where the Legislature draws the maps and the governor approves them. They also proposed a resolution that the new boundary lines should adhere as closely as possible to existing congressional and Legislative district maps to promote “equal opportunity to vote by minimizing disenfranchisement.”

The Nov. 3 panel will explore these issues related to carrying out redistricting at both the state and local levels. It will discuss whether there are nonpartisan methods to determine election maps, the impact of partisan politics on redistricting and the potential role of courts in the process.

Panelists include:

  • District 14 state Sen. Joan Ballweg (R-Markesan);
  • Jordan Ellenberg, who is the John D. MacArthur professor of mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of “Shape: The Hidden Geometry of Information, Biology, Strategy, Democracy and Everything Else,” which explains the geometry behind gerrymandering.
  • Martin Farrell, professor emeritus of politics and government at Ripon College and chair of the Fond du Lac County Board of Supervisors

The moderator will be Ellen Sorensen, Ripon College class of 2000 and president of the League of Women Voters of the Ripon Area.

Ripon scouts will host drive-thru donation

Ripon Boy Scout Troop 735 and Cub Scout Pack 3735 will host a “Drive Thru Scouting for Food” event to support the Traded Treasures & Community Food Pantry and the Ripon Area Food Pantry.

The event takes place Saturday, Nov. 6 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the old K-mart parking lot in Ripon, where community members may bring non-perishable food goods.

This “Drive Thru Scouting for Food” event is Ripon Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts’ alternative to the annual door-to-door food pick up that local scouts have done in previous years. This will be the second year of the drive-thru format, which was a success last year.

“Support for our Ripon food pantries is even more important in these trying times and Ripon scouts are offering their support by organizing this food drive,” said Dave Schoff of Ripon Boy Scouts. “Come and support the Ripon Scouting Drive Thru Scouting for Food event with your donation on Nov. 6.”

DJ Trivia Thursday

Knuth Brewing Co. will host DJ Trivia Thursday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. It is a free event that will award participants for their knowledge.

First through third place winners will be awarded gift cards. Knuth Brewing Co. describes the event as “always free, always fun.”

“Come join the fun with friends,” the brewery’s website said of the event.

Peter Rowan's Free Mexican Airforce featuring Los Texmaniacs

The Free Mexican Airforce is flying again! This time at the Thrasher Opera House Friday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. (Doors open at 6:45 p.m.).

This is Peter Rowan plugged in, including some of his most loved songs--Come Back to Old Santa Fe, Ride the Wild Mustang, Midnight Moonlight, and of course, Free Mexican Airforce! New material has been composed as well and will be featured in their performances.

Peter is joined in this version of the Free Mexican Airforce by Los Texmaniacs, a Grammy Award-winning band comprised of Max Baca -Bajo sexto, Josh Baca-accordion, Noel Hernandez-bass, Danny Martinez-drums, and Peter Rowan on guitar and vocals. Carrying on the musical tradition started in the late ’70s when Peter and the great Flaco Jiminez joined forces to record for Flying Fish Records and tour the US and the UK. Peter and Flaco collaborated for over a decade and their friendship has endured!

During the 1980s, Flaco discovered the teenager Bajo Sexto virtuoso Max Bacca, who became his bandleader and musical amigo. Max Bacca called Rowan in 2018 and suggested some Texas shows with his own Tex-Mex conjunction, Los Texmaniacs. Peter reunited with Flaco for the Texas shows! "It was like old times,” says Rowan.

"Los Texmaniacs are a modern progressive bunch of guys who grew up musically listening to what I played with Flaco. They know my songs and they include me as part of their tradition!”

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