Today marks the start of the third week in July, and if you’re a show water skier in Wisconsin, you know what that means: the annual Wisconsin State Water Ski Show Championships takes place this coming weekend in Wisconsin Rapids! This four-day event is deemed the world’s largest water ski show competition, with over twenty-five teams who compete annually. While the weeks leading up to the tournament are both exhausting and stressful, the weekend itself is arguably the best of the year.
For those who are new to the world of water ski shows (or are avid fans), as well as for those looking to explore Central Wisconsin, I enthusiastically encourage you to consider taking a mini-vacation to Wisconsin Rapids for it’s most exciting week of the year! Not only will you witness more water ski stunts than you knew were even possible, but ample lake activities and camping at two of the county’s most notable parks make for a memorable visit to Wisconsin’s northwoods.
The tournament takes place at South Wood County Park and has free admission. As a resident of Milwaukee, it is important for me to mention that free parking is readily available along the neighboring streets! While there is some bleacher seating, prime spectating will require you to prop up a lawn chair in the sand of this DIY-amphitheater. Food booths, souvenir stands, and vendor tents are available to walk through between shows. This event is family-friendly and the shows are created to entertain kids and adults alike!
The hotel accommodations in town are nice (I usually stay at the Cobblestone Hotel & Suites), but the camping is enjoyable as well! Spots at South Wood County Park book up for State weekend the day they are opened, but if you aren’t able to secure a neighboring campsite, I have also stayed about 40 minutes away at the Dexter Park campground and absolutely love the place. If you’re heading out in that direction, you’re bound to drive through Pittsville. When you do, make sure to stop for a photo-op with the sign that marks the geographic center of Wisconsin!
I love show water skiing, from the way our performances inspire young members of the audience to the way that the skiing community acts as a large second-family to me. If you or someone you know is interested in getting more information about joining a water ski show team, let me know! Learn more about the history of water ski shows in Wisconsin.