Moo-sic to your ears
Do you know someone who sees a rump roast as a thing of beauty? Minocqua's Beef-A-Rama may be heaven on earth for beef lovers. There's the Parade of Beef, Rump Roast Run, Beef Eating Contest, Moo Calling Contest, storefront beef roast cook-offs and a famous beef sandwich sale. Visitors can explore an arts and crafts show, shopping specials, live entertainment, a street dance and children's activities.
6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, in Torpy Park, U.S. Hwy. 51 in South Minocqua, Wis. Call (800) 446-6784 or visit minocqua.org.
Munich on the lake
Herrs and fraus should hop on the autobahn to Navy Pier for a new event -- Germany's Best and Oktoberfest -- that will offer a genuine cultural experience showcasing modern and traditional Germany. Germany's Best is a platform for modern Germany's strengths in business, technology, travel and the arts, and Oktoberfest will be as festive as expected with German vendors preparing imported classic food with wall-to-wall traditional and modern German music filling the tent.
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Tuesday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday from Sept. 23-Oct. 10, at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago. Visit germanys-best-and-oktoberfest.com.
Eat it up
Chicago Gourmet 2011 will showcase more than 100 of the city's finest chefs, as well as hundreds of renowned vintners, spirit makers and breweries from around the world. Enjoy cooking demos, tastings and seminars with speakers and chefs. Burger fans won't want to miss the second annual Hamburger Hop, an interactive event featuring 15 top chefs in the ultimate burger showdown. Oenophiles can converge on the Grand Cru tastings of the finest wines in the world during exclusive two-hour wine sessions led by master sommeliers.
Event times vary Friday to Sunday, Sept. 23-25, at Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St., Chicago. Admission prices vary from $89-$250. Visit chicagogourmet.eventbrite.com.
The 39th annual Warrens Cranberry Fest is the world's largest festival dedicated to Wisconsin's official state fruit. More than 110,000 like-minded cranberry champions gather in the central Wisconsin town, about 255 miles from Chicago, to taste cranberry brats, cranberry salsa, cranberry chili, cranberry cream puffs as well as nonberry festival foods and wares. There will be 850 arts and crafts booths, 350 flea market booths and 100 farm market vendors. There will be lots of free entertainment, a marching band parade, biggest berry contest, working marsh tours in the bogs and pancake breakfasts.
7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday to Sunday, Sept. 23-25, in downtown Warrens, Wis. Call (608) 378-4200 or visit cranfest.com.
World War II Days
Midway Village Museum in Rockford becomes a blazing battlefront as it hosts the largest World War II re-enactment in the nation -- more than 800 uniformed re-enactors, artillery, armored vehicles, pyrotechnic displays and more than 70 vintage tanks. World War II Days includes battles, encampments of Allied and Axis troops, realistic skirmishes integrated in the historic village, Pacific Theater battles in the woods with soldiers dressed as U.S. Marines and Japanese infantry, German cavalry scenes and soldiers' base camps filled with period vehicles, tents and artifacts.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, at Midway Village Museum, 6799 Guilford Road, Rockford. Tickets cost $10 for adults; $5 for children (3 to 17); and free for World War II veterans. Two-day event passes cost $18 for adults and $8 for children. Call (815) 397-9112 or visit midwayvillage.com.
Worth the trip
Get a ticket to ride and set sail from Ft. Lauderdale aboard Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas for seven nights. Your hosts? John, Paul, George and Ringo (or pretty good imitators) will take you on the long and winding road during the Beatles Tribute Cruise 2012. You'll be whisked back in time with the Beatles tribute band Revolution; Laurence "LJ" Juber (two-time Grammy award winner and former lead guitarist for Paul McCartney's Wings); Mark Hudson (singer, songwriter and Ringo's former producer); Tim Piper (Revolution's John Lennon who will perform a special version of his hit Lennon solo show "Just Imagine"); Tony Bramwell (childhood buddy of all the Beatles and an Apple Corp employee); and Joe Johnson (host and creator of the nationally syndicated radio show Beatle Brunch). There will be seven concerts in seven nights plus many more Beatles themed activities. Ports of call include Falmouth, Jamaica, Cozumel, Mexico, and the private island of Labadee.
The cruise sails from Feb. 4-11. Cruise prices start at $1,315 and include a pass to all activities and performances. Visit BeatlesTributeCruise.com.