FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q. How do I register for classes?

A. Register online via EventSpot , an internet registration service. Please note that classes can fill up quickly, so register early. Also note that you’ll need to check in for your class at least 30 minutes before it starts at the Fermentation Fest headquarters.

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Q. Tell me about checking in for classes.

A. When you attend a Fermentation Fest class, you’ll need to check in at least 30 minutes before class starts at Fermentation Fest headquarters. That’s how you find out where your class is located!

Fermentation Fest Headquarters is:

Reedsburg Area Chamber of Commerce
240 Railroad Street
Reedsburg, WI 53959
Phone: 800-844-3507
email: reedsbrg@rucls.net
reedsburg.org

Hours (during the Fermentation Fest): 8 AM – 5 PM, 7 days/week, Friday, Oct. 4 through Sunday Oct.13

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Q. Will there be enough for me to do if I come to Reedsburg for a day or two during Fermentation Fest?

A. Plenty! Fermentation Fest is filled with activities, particularly on the weekends. There are over 30 classes in downtown Reedsburg ,  and the Farm/Art DTour itself takes most people between 2.5 and 4 hours to complete, taking you through the towns of LaValle, Ironton and Lime Ridge. Additionally, Reedsburg offers great shops, the “400” State Bike Trail with bike rental, a wonderful Pioneer Log Village and Museum and other great things to see and do. We are a short drive to Doctor Evermore’s Sculpture Park, Wollersheim Winery, Devil’s Lake and Mirror Lake State Parks, Circus World Museum, the International Crane Foundation, the Aldo Leopold Foundation, the Mid-Continent Railway Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin, American Players Theater, House on the Rock, The Painted Forest and dozens more attractions.

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Q. How should I dress for the weather?

A. Dress however you are most comfortable, in layers and with good walking shoes. Keep a jacket in your car as October weather in Wisconsin can be unpredictable. It is often one of our most wonderful months with dry, moderate temperatures, but there can be rainy, cool days as well. We experienced a severe drought this summer, so our weather has been more unpredictable than some years. Feel free to call ahead for the latest weather updates.

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Q. What if I didn’t register for classes in advance?

A. There may be space available in some classes – check in at the chamber. There will be a list of Daily Specials – these will include pasture performances, open classes and other late-breaking opportunities. There will be unscheduled surprises both along the DTour and in downtown Reedsburg.

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Q. What should I do first when I get to Reedsburg?

A. We recommend that you make your first stop at the Reedsburg Area Chamber of Commerce, and they can help you get your Fermentation Fest plan put together. If you have registered for classes or other events, you will need to organize the rest of your visit around those activities. But if you are completely open with no obligations, there are a variety of ways that you can structure your time. There will be a list of Daily Specials at the Chamber and on the website  for you to consider as well (Daily Specials are featured performances and events not listed on the map). The Chamber staff will be happy to help you.

Reedsburg Area Chamber of Commerce
240 Railroad Street
Reedsburg, WI 53959
Phone: 800-844-3507
email: reedsbrg@rucls.net
reedsburg.org

Hours (during the Fermentation Fest): 8 AM – 5 PM, 7 days/week, Thursday Oct. 4 through Sunday Oct. 13

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Q. Are there enough places to stay and eat if I decide to extend my stay once I get there?

A. Absolutely! Reedsburg is a community of nearly 10,000 residents, so it has many fine restaurants, motels and B & B’s to offer you when you are in need of extended accomodations or a meal, and everyone in the hospitality industry is preparing for a large crowd during Fermentation Fest. We want your visit to be a happy, memorable one! For a listing of possible locations, please pick up a “Discover Reedsburg” guide when you are in the area!

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Q. So, is this really just a big beer festival?

A. This answer might disappoint a few folks out there, but Fermentation Fest is about much more than beer. Fermentation is about abundance and making it last. Fermentation is transformation – from grain to beer, milk to yogurt, cabbage to sauerkraut , soybeans to soy sauce. It’s an ancient process that adds nutrients, flavor and long life to foods that would otherwise spoil. Did you know that chocolate is also fermented? Don’t forget about cheese, coffee, homemade pickles or kimchi! Non-edible items such as compost and silage are fermented too.

Fermentation Fest is a celebration of food, farming, our rural heritage and culture! That is why we call it a Live Culture Convergence – it brings all kinds of “cultures” together… agriCULTURE, live cultures found in natural, healthy foods and the arts featured along the Farm/Art DTour.

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Q. I have some special needs. Will there be enough parking, adequate restrooms, and readily available food through Fermentation Fest? Is everything handicapped accessible?

Most Fermentation Fest classes will take place within 4 city blocks in downtown Reedsburg. For some, it will be possible to park and walk as needed. For the convenience of others, there are multiple parking lots located through this downtown area, and there is also a large parking lot at Fermentation Fest Headquarters, the Reedsburg Area Chamber of Commerce.

All class sites have restrooms. There will also be some public restrooms located in businesses along the 50 mile DTour. While it never hurts to bring a snack if you have special dietary needs, we think you will find many delicious food options while you are here for the Festival. Most class locations are handicapped accessible. We recommend that if you have any questions in this regard, that you e-mail us directly at: info@fermfest.wpengine.com or call the Chamber at 800.844.3507 after Sept 10.

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Q. What time does everything begin and end? What is the best time to enjoy Fermentation Fest?

The Farm Art DTour is available every day during daylight hours. We would recommend you take the trip between 10 am and 4 pm Friday – Sunday and 10 am – 2 pm Monday – Thursday so that you can enjoy the series of Roadside Culture Stands, which are artist designed and built roadside stands vending produce, pickles, baked goods, and more!

Classes are concentrated on the weekends at scheduled times and most require advance registration

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Q. Can I take pictures of things that I see and experience during Fermentation Fest?

A. Yes! Please do, and show all of your friends! We only have two requests. First, please respect the beliefs of our Amish friends along the way, as they wish to not be photographed from the front. Second, if you want to photograph the land or the art, please take care to not trespass on private property while doing so. The farmers and landowners who have partnered with us for this event have been so gracious and helpful, but for your safety and out of respect for their property, we do request that people only take photos from the side of the road, once a vehicle is safely parked.

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Q. How do I know where to start the DTour? Can I start it from either end?

A. Detailed maps are available at the Chamber of Commerce, and at certain locations throughout the area, or can be downloaded from the website. All official stops are numbered on the map, and identified in the event guide. Although you can start your tour from either direction, we highly recommend going in the direction indicated on the map, as some installations will be much more visible if approached from a certain direction. We don’t want you to miss something wonderful!

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Q. So, what is the Wormfarm Institute? Is it really a place that grows worms?

A.This is our most common question! The answer lies in Charles Darwin’ quote, “Every fertile grain of soil has passed at least once through the gut of an earthworm.” Without a doubt, the Wormfarm does grow worms who do their part to make the literal fertile soil used to grow organic produce on the farm. Fertile soil is also a metaphor for a hospitable environment for the creative expression of artists and writers.

Formed in 2000 with an artist residency program, Wormfarm Institute is a non profit organization that explores the links between urban and rural communities within and beyond the food chain, creating a setting for artistic collaboration. Wormfarm expands the concept of CSA (community Supported Agriculture), which helps reconnect consumers with the source of their food, by connecting urban and rural, people and land, culture and agriculture.

For more information on Wormfarm see: www.wormfarminstitute.org

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