ACE Academy Shanty Raffle
presented by C.D. Smith Foundation @ Various Locations
Dec 9 2022 – Feb 11 2023 all-day


1st Place – Winner of the 2023 ACE Academy Shanty – James Krueger (from Malone, WI)

2nd Place – Winner of a Bowe Spear & Spearing accessories – Sam Black

3rd Place – Winner of a Bowe Spear – Nick Venne

More info on the project below:

The ACE Shanties Project was spearheaded by C.D. Smith Construction’s Foundation Committee with material donations provided by a variety of local businesses. The project began in May of 2019 with blueprints, construction began in September of the same year, and the project was completed in early 2020.

To raise funds for the A.C.E. Academy and raffle supporters, Foot of the Lake Fishing Club, one of the shanties has been raffled off during the Sturgeon Spectacular festivities 3 out of the last 4 years.

$10 raffle tickets are now available at the following locations:

  1. Hopper’s Silk Screening & All Star Trophy – 77 N. Main Street, Fond du Lac, WI
  2. Top Shelf Sports Bar & Grille – 90 S. Main Street, Fond du Lac, WI
  3. B & B Express – N6714 County Rd. W (at Hwy 23), Mt. Calvary, WI
  4. Waucousta Food Mart – N3112 Hwy 45, Campbellsport, WI

See photos of the 2023 ACE Academy Shanty below!

Sunburst “Best Memories” Photo Contest
Jan 1 @ 11:11 am – Feb 12 @ 12:01 am

Join us in celebrating the Sturgeon Spectacular, the beauty of winter, and more importantly SNOW!  Sunburst Ski Hill believes that the best memories are made with snow, and we agree!  Get your family, friends, or go outside solo and find your best winter backdrop.

Contest Rules:

All ages are eligible to participate.  Submit a photo to Facebook using #SunburstBestMemories or send an email to with subject line “Sunburst Best Memories” before midnight on Monday, February 13th and you’ll be entered to win four Sunburst ski or tubing passes and some really cool Sturgeon Spectacular gear.  Judges will select the winner from all entrants on Tuesday, February 14th and the winner will be posted on the Fond du Lac Festivals and Destination Lake Winnebago Facebook pages.

To qualify, photos must include snow and capture “The Best Memories”.


Find the Little Lost Sturgeon Contest @ Fond du Lac City Limits
Jan 23 – Feb 13 all-day

We have a winner (yes, already). Stella the Sturgeon in the Find the Little Lost Sturgeon contest has been found!!! Winning details coming Thursday (January 26th)!!

Hello, my name is Stella the Sturgeon. I need your help because I’m lost! I really need someone to bring me home before Sturgeon Spectacular, so I don’t miss all the fun.

Before you run out to find me there are a few things you should know. – I am within the Fond du Lac City limits! I can easily be found without destroying property or tearing anything apart. I am outside! Oh yeah! And maybe the most important thing of all there is a $597.70 reward for the first person to bring me home!

The nice people at Destination Lake Winnebago Region and Sunny 97.7 are going to help you find me! Every other day (M-F) they will be publishing clues about where I am. These clues will be on Facebook (Destination Lake Winnebago Region Visitors Bureau at 8 am) (Sunny 97-7 at noon), Instagram (destinationlakewinnebago), and live on the radio (Sunny 97-7) at noon after the news! You can also find them on when you click the contest tab.

I really hope you find me soon! It is cold out here in the Wisconsin Winter. Please remember to be respectful as you look for me! I am just a little baby sturgeon, so be on the lookout!

See you soon!

• Stella the Sturgeon is hidden on public property; you do not have to dig or destroy anything to find it!
• She is not in a local cemetery, or on private property!
• The person who finds Stella will find further instructions on how to claim the prize.
• Winner must consent to a photo to be published across multi-platforms.
• Clues will not be given over the phone.
• Stella the Sturgeon will not be within 15 ft of any body of water.
• Contest ends Monday, February 13th at midnight.

Presented by:

Sturgi Scavenger Hunt @ Downtown Fond du Lac - various locations
Jan 23 – Feb 13 all-day

Sturgi wants to go sturgeon spearing, but he lost all of his equipment! All of Sturgi’s lost items can be found at various downtown Fond du Lac businesses. Once you spy a piece of equipment picture simply write the location you found it in the space below the matching picture on the back of this form.

HINT: Searching from the outside will give you a clearer peek. All items are hidden in storefronts. No need to enter the business unless you’re looking to shop or dine! The items you are looking for are the same exact items that are pictured on the back of this form.

There are 20 hidden items and you must find all 20 to be eligible for a chance to win. All items will be found within the parameters of the map below. (The items are laminated and no larger than 7 inches long & no smaller than an inch wide.)

Pick up and return your “Sturgi Scavenger Hunt” ballot to the Lake Winnebago Region Visitor Center, 23 S. Main Street, Monday-Friday 8am-5pm. Forms can be picked up, emailed, or found at beginning Monday, January 23, 2023 and must be returned to the Visitor Center by 3pm Monday, February 13, 2023 or returned via email by 3pm Monday, February 13, 2023 to Winner will be announced Wednesday, February 15, 2023.

Or download your ballot HERE

Winners will be picked randomly from correct, completed ballot entries. Winner will receive $597.70.

SS iSpy Sturgeon Map 1

Presented by:






Wisconsin Snow Sculpting Championship presented by Grande Cheese @ Downtown, outside Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts
Feb 10 all-day

The best snow sculptors in the state travel to Fond du Lac to compete in the 2023 Wisconsin Snow Sculpting Competition in hopes of winning a trip to the 2024 US Championship and a $1,000 1st Prize.  Sculpting all weekend long.

Daily Schedule:
*Some teams compete well into the early morning hours.  Hours vary by day/team.

Friday, February 10, 2023*
1:00 PM – Teams arrive onsite and begin sculpting

Saturday, February 11, 2023*
8:00 AM – 10:00 PM – Competition Site Open for Viewing

Sunday, February 12, 2023*
Teams Compete
Judging begins at 1pm
Awards Ceremony & Spectacular Finale starts at 2:00pm


Presenting Sponsor:  Grande Cheese Company





Official Snow Provider:   Sunburst Ski Hill

Transportation provided by:   Baumhardt Trucking of Eden





Meals provided by Annie’s Fountain City Cafe, Top Shelf, Philly’s on 4th, and Eaton’s Fresh Pizza.

Sturgeon Spectacular Kids Kickoff @ Brick House Restaurant
Feb 10 @ 4:30 pm – 6:15 pm

Join us at the Brick House restaurant in Fond du Lac’s Downtown District for a totally family-friendly kickoff to Sturgeon Spectacular 2023, featuring complimentary games, prizes, and food for the family. Kids will love the annual opportunity to spear Jerry the Sturgeon and parents will love the complimentary adult beverages. Brick House restaurant Friday, February 10, 2023, 4:30-6:15pm.

Participating Location: Brickhouse – 161 S. Main Street, Fond du Lac 


Make sure to come down for the Lighting of the Sturgeon & Sculptures at 6:45pm 

Illumination provided by

Lakefront Brewery presents Spear the Beer Night @ Craft City Bottleshop & Taproom
Feb 10 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Join Lakefront Brewery for a night of beering before the season opens.  Grab one of four Lakefront options on tap, spin the wheel, and win some cool Lakefront Brewery swag.

Promo: 5:00 – 7:00pm

Presented by:

Sturgeon Spectacular Kick-off Celebration
Free Concert with Sam Luna & Friends @ Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts
Feb 10 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

The Sturgeon Spectacular kicks off at Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts on Friday night with a free concert and lots of cheer!

THELMA is bringing Sam Luna & Friends to help kick off the Sturgeon Spectacular weekend in style!  Enjoy music inside THELMA and warm up by dancing or enjoying a hot beverage! Plus watch the snow sculptors get their pieces started right outside on Sheboygan Street! Try a Whiskey Whiskers (hot toddy inspired beverage), spiked hot cocoa, and more!

Cash Bar opens at 6pm
The Great Hall Ballroom
FREE CONCERT: Sam Luna & Friends starts at 7 pm
Lighting of the Sturgeon & Sculptures presented by Wisconsin Lighting Lab at 6:45 pm

Biggest Sturgeon Contest
presented by Fleet Farm @ Wendt's on the Lake
Feb 11 – Feb 26 all-day

Are you a spearer?  Do you know a spearer?  If you or someone you know is lucky enough to spear a sturgeon during the 2023 sturgeon spearing season, enter to win the Biggest Sturgeon Contest presented by Fleet Farm.  There are 3 ways to enter:

  1. Bring your harvest to Wendt’s on the Lake on Opening Day (Saturday, February 11th) between 12pm – 4pm and check in at the Fleet Farm tent
  2. Post a photo of this year’s harvest to Facebook using #FDLBigFish and include name of the spearer and date harvested*
  3. Email your photo to with “Biggest Sturgeon 2023” in the subject line and include the name of the spearer and date harvested*

*Only 2023 harvested sturgeon will be eligible for the $500 Fleet Farm Gift Card

That’s it, it’s that easy.  Open to all ages and legal harvest rules apply.

Entries must be received by midnight on Sunday, February 26th to qualify.  All entries will be collected and a random drawing will occur on Monday, February 27th.  Winners will be announced through Facebook or contacted through the email submitted.

Please be aware of all DNR guidelines when you register your fish at one of the official DNR fish registration stations.

More helpful info can be found on the Wisconsin DNR webpage here.



Special thanks to Fleet Farm for their partnership!

Spearing and Beering
presented by Lakefront Brewery & Lee Beverage @ Lakeside Park Pavilion
Feb 11 @ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

Come to the Lakefront Brewery bar set up inside Lakeside Park Pavilion.  Party inside in the warmth or take it outside.  Participate in games including Hammerschlagen, ice bowling, broom ball, or join the Outdoor Curling Funspiel.   Lakefront Brewery, the official beer sponsors of Sturgeon Spectacular will be doing a Special Tapping of a Lakefront Exclusive Black Forest Cake flavored Bottom Feeder Ale starting at noon – while supplies last!  Sturgeon Spectacular Commemorative Steins will also be available – while supplies last.

Check out the Live Look-ins at Wendt’s on the Lake to see sturgeon on the big screen inside the pavilion.  Live feeds will be occurring every hour, on the hour starting at 12pm and ending at 4pm. Special celebrity DJs will be playing their favorites and taking requests.   Special prizes given to anyone that brings their registered sturgeon to the celebration!

*Concessions available onsite from Downtown Deli, Market & Cafe

Presented by:







With support from: