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:






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:

THELMA Curling Lounge @ Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts
Feb 11 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
View the Downtown Curling Rink and try curling for your first time.  Feel free to grab a beverage inside and check out the action from THELMA’s Plaza overlooking the rink!

Dress for the weather!

The outdoor Curling Lounge offers a great view to enjoy the curling action! Purchase and enjoy coffee, hot chocolate specials and more at THELMA’s bar located inside the art gallery.

Part of THELMA’s Sturgeon Spectacular Free, Family-friendly Activities
For more info, click here




Meet the Princesses @ Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts
Feb 11 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Meet your child’s favorite princesses with a THELMA princess meet & greet.  

Part of THELMA’s Sturgeon Spectacular Free, Family-friendly Activities
For more info, click here

Presented by:

Frozen Movie Showing @ Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts
Feb 11 @ 2:00 pm

Join us for popcorn and everyone’s favorite, Frozen on the big screen inside the THELMA Great Hall.

Part of THELMA’s Sturgeon Spectacular Free, Family-friendly Activities
For more info, click here

Presented by:

Wisconsin Snow Sculpting Championship presented by Grande Cheese @ Downtown, outside Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts
Feb 12 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.

Downtown Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides @ Downtown Fond du Lac
Feb 12 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

The Breezy Hill Campground horse-drawn carriages will be offering free rides through downtown Fond du Lac.  The horses will take you past all the festivities and downtown happenings.  There will be two loading/unloading zones (see below).  Each trip will be approximately 15 minutes.  Young children can ride on parent/guardian’s lap.

Pick-up/Drop-off Location #1 – 33 Sheboygan Street (Downtown Event Hub)
Pick-up/Drop-off Location #2 – 21 E. 2nd Street

Presented by:





Horses and carriage provided by The Wiltzius Family & Breezy Hill Campground

Art of the Bloody Mary! @ Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts
Feb 12 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Raise a toast to Sturgeon Spectacular 2023 with a one-of-a-kind Bloody Mary at participating establishments in the Downtown District, all weekend long and register to win big cash! The Art of the Bloody Mary contest concludes with area bartenders going head-to-head to build the Ultimate Bloody Mary, Sunday morning before a panel of world-renowned Bloody Mary experts at Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts 11 am, Sunday, February 12, 2023.

Various bars throughout downtown Fond du Lac will also be serving their specialty bloody marys throughout the weekend

Presented by Destination Lake Winnebago Region:

Sturgeon Spectacular Finale @ Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts
Feb 12 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Join us in celebrating all those that make Sturgeon Spectacular a weekend for all to enjoy.  Enjoy great brunch by Urban Fuel, hold & cold drinks and live music inside the THELMA Fountain City Room, or grab a drink and bring it outside to see the state snow sculptors put their finishing touches on some beautiful sculptures.

We will be announcing the winners of the following events starting at 1:30pm

  • Downtown Chili Crawl – “Best” Awards
  • Downtown Sweet Stroll – “Best” Awards
  • Downtown Ice Sculpting Competition – 1st & 2nd place sculptures
  • Sturgeon Fun Run & 5K Run/Walk – top finishers
  • Outdoor Curling Funspiel – 1st, 2nd, 3rd place teams
  • Kids Snow Sculpting Competition – 1st place
  • Wisconsin Snow Sculpting Championships will be announced starting at 2:00 pm
    • People’s Choice Winners
    • Artist’s Choice Winners
    • 1st, 2nd, 3rd place team finishers
THELMA’s Brunch and a Band @ Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts
Feb 12 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Wrapping up the Sturgeon Spectacular weekend, join us for THELMA’s Brunch and a Band on Sunday, February 12th starting at 11 am. Enjoy bloody marys, mimosas, spiked coffee, and other cocktails for purchase.

Part of THELMA’s Sturgeon Spectacular Free, Family-friendly Activities
For more info, click here

Brunch options for purchase from Cellar District

Band – Erin Krebs:  11am – 2pm
Fountain City
Food & Drink for purchase