The 2010 Whooping Crane and Wildlife Festival

For a number of years this was the official site for the Whooping Crane and Wildlife Festival. The first Whooping Crane and Wildlife Festival was held in 2001 in in Necedah, Wisconsin.

Content is from the tenth Whooping Crane and Wildlife Festival archived pages and other outside sources.

To get the most up to date information about the Whooping Crane and Wildlife Festival go to the town of Princeton Wisconsin's website and check out their Events Calender for September:


Can’t Live Without ‘Em: Whooping Crane

01 SEPTEMBER 2011 Posted by: John Motsinger /

Whooping cranes are America’s largest wading birds and also one of the most endangered animals in the country. Standing nearly five feet tall with a wingspan of seven feet and weighing more than 15 pounds, these graceful birds are an impressive sight on land and in the air—that is, if you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the exceedingly rare birds.

Crane species are also some of the oldest animals on the planet. Some crane fossils found in Nebraska were estimated to be some 9 million years old. Whooping cranes were once common across much of the Midwest, where they fed along marshlands and scavenged spent grain in corn and wheat fields. Populations then dwindled to just 21 individuals in the wild by 1941 as a result of widespread habitat loss. The species was first listed as endangered in 1967. And in 2010, fewer than 400 individual birds were found in the wild, with only another 150 being raised in captivity.

Today, dedicated conservation programs are working hard to restore these magnificent white creatures to large portions of their remaining habitat. The primary breeding grounds for whooping cranes is in northeastern Alberta in Canada, but a reintroduced population has also started breeding in central Wisconsin. It’s here that pilots with Operation Migration flying open-wing aircraft have been retraining cranes to migrate down to Florida.

Whooping up the tourism dollars

For 10 years, Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin was the home of an annual Whooping Crane Festival that attracted thousands of visitors and brought in more than $40,000 each year for the local community. A similar festival in Port Aransas, Texas, where whooping cranes spend their winters, is now in its 16th year and is a favorite birding trip for many nature enthusiasts.

Each year 70,000 to 80,000 people visit Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, mostly during the winter, and spend significant amounts locally on lodging, gasoline and supplies. Rockport Chamber of Commerce in Texas estimates that whooping crane-related activities result in annual gross economic benefits of $6 million to the local economy.  Approximately 80,000 people also visit the Platte River area of Nebraska each year during peak of spring crane migrations, expending approximately $15 million.



"I attended this festival with my kids and their friends - we had a wonderful experience after raising funds with the Rockport Chamber of Commerce. Met lots of great crane fans. We also befriended the winner of the crane call contest, Rev Sale who was the most unlikely bird caller ever. He's a philosopher and pundit who has written extensively on arcane topics that have gained a following online. His most recent post involves the topic of "nothing." You may think this is a frivolous subject until you read his take on it - the notion of "nothing" is something that has enthralled the ancients for centuries. Depending on the definition of it, scholarly arguments can be made for the existence of god, or the exact opposite. Read his post to be enlightened about nothing. In Search of Nothing is both humorous and thought provoking. My kids loved the festival and we've been folding origami cranes for the fundraising displays and the festival photos. Great fun, great people, and we'll be back!" James Hill


Graphic of 10th annual whooping crane festival.

Thank you to our sponsors and patrons for making the 
2010 Festival a beautiful day.


2010 Event Schedule

Registration for 10K Whoop It Up Run Begins 6:30am to 8:00am on grounds
Main Festival Opens 7:00 a.m.
Shuttle Bus (Between Festival and Refuge only) 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Pancake Breakfast (All you can eat) 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Necedah Refuge Bus Tours 7:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
(Every half hour)
Whoop It Up 10K Run Start time is 9:00 a.m.
Arts, Crafts, and Commercial Exhibits open 9:00 a.m. - Close
Speakers 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Children's Tent 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
ATV Poker Run 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Necedah High School
"Face Painters" (Pavilion)
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Guided Walk at Necedah Refuge 12:00 p.m. - returns at 2:45 p.m
Hatch Cranberry Marsh Bus Tour 12:30 p.m. - returns at 3:00 p.m.
Chicken Barbecue Dinner (Pavilion) 3:00 p.m. - Until Sold Out
Necedah Refuge Bus Tour 4:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Raffle Prize Drawings (Pavilion) 4:30 p.m.
Whooper Brew goes on sale 4:00 p.m. to Close
Live music and dancing 5:00 p.m. to Close

For additional information visitors are encouraged to stop at the Information Booth



Children's Tent



Wildlife Track T-shirt Printing 
Every youth (5-14 years old) that enters the Children's Tent will receive a free t-shirt and make their own wildlife tracking t-shirt while supplies last.



Build a bird house and bird feeder
Make your own blue bird house and or bird feeder using materials supplied.



To be announced soon. 



To be announced soon.


2:00 Wisconsin's Frogs, Toads and Salamanders 
Kids will love learning about Wisconsin's frogs, toads and salamanders as they hold, feed, and listen to them. Many of the state's 12 frogs and 7 salamanders will make live appearances in a hopping, happy and hands-on experience! Presented by Randy Korb.

Other activities throughout the day include a scavenger hunt, face painting, and a bouncing ball cage.

Note: Children 10 years old and younger must be accompanied by an adult.



NAB Field  (Necedah Area Ball Field)
901 N. Harvey St.
Necedah, WI 54646

If coming into Necedah on Highway 80, stay on 80 through the "old downtown" area and continue straight at the Highway 21 / Highway 80 intersection.

If coming into Necedah on Highway 21, turn north onto Highway 80 at the Highway 21 / Highway 80 intersection.

Highway 21 / Highway 80 intersection is a four-way stop light.  Kwik Trip is on the northwest side of the intersection. 

The Necedah Area Ball Field (NAB Field) is located on the east side (right side of the street if traveling north) of Highway 80 in the northern part of town. 

Look for the circus size tents.  Necedah Boy Scouts will guide you to parking




The Necedah Lions Whooping Crane and Wildlife Festival is happy to announce the winners of the first ATV Poker Run.


Al Morschauser ~ First Place

Jim Kottke ~ Second Place

Karen Morschauser ~ Third Place

Thank you to the Castle Rock Family ATV Cluband to the following businesses for making this ride possible:

Wilderness Inn, Josie's, Old Finley, Boon Docks, Eagle's Nest, Necedah Veteran's, Memorial Hall, Alec's Bar and Grill, Sportsman's Bar, Swiney's, Roadhouse, and Reel Inn

Start time: 10:00 AM, Saturday, September 18, 2010

Return Time: 5:00 PM

Cost: $10:00 per person (Includes free pancake breakfast and festival admission)

Registration: at Festival Grounds

Cash pay outs: for 3 (Three) highest poker hands!

Raffles, Door Prizes, Food, Fun, Music


1. Sign in from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM - Depart by 10:00 AM

2. Riders must travel in groups.

3. Route maps will be available at the Ride Registration booth at the Festival Grounds. There are 13 "Stop" Locations.

4. $10.00 registration fee per person. Includes free Lions pancake breakfast & festival admission.

5. 50 percent pay out to 3 highest poker hands.

6. Participants may travel by ATV, motorcycle or car.

7. Please respect owner's property. NO SPIN OUTSor EXCESSIVE NOISE. Please be courteous.

8. Stay on designated routes/trails. Obey all signs.

9. Must have at least 5 stamps from different establishments

10. To draw a poker hand - Must have a MINIMUM of 5 stops

11. To draw a poker hand - Must have returned to Festival Grounds by 5:PM (NO LATER)

12. May receive an extra card (maximum of 5 cards)

13. Return to Crane Festival grounds for check-in between 4:00 - 5:00 PM

14. Drawings will be at Crane Festival grounds around 5:30 - 6:00 PM (Band Stand area)

15. The Necedah WI Lions Charities nor the Necedah Lions are NOT RESPONSIBLE for any accidents or injuries.

16. Please ride responsibly!

17. If you drink, drink responsibly.


NOTE: When leaving the Festival Grounds on ATV's, motorcycles or by car, please keep exhaust noise to a very minimum. Please do not "over throttle" your machines. Keep it courteous. Business marked by ( * ) are located within the Village of Necedah, Downtown area. If you plan to visit these establishments, you must park ATV's in the parking lot behind the Sub-Way building and walk to these establishments. ATV's are NOT ALLOWED on the sidewalks or on Main Street (Hwy 80). The route to the Necedah downtown area is on the map. Please follow the signs from the Veteran's Hall parking lot to the downtown area. Additional raffles will be held on the festival grounds and visitors are encouraged to visit festival exhibitors. Following the ride, a barbecue chicken dinner will be available at the festival grounds, plus "Whooper Brew" (plus other brands) will be available in addition to music by "Fiddlestix". ENJOY YOUR DAY!



Fees For 2010 Festival

Kids under 12
Admission $2.00 Free (Tours are separate)
Whoop It Up 10K    
Pancake Breakfast $5.00 Free
Refuge Bus Tour $5.00 Free
Refuge Shuttle Bus (board at Festival Grounds) $3.00 $3.00
ATV Poker Run (No one under 21 years old) $10.00  
Guided Walk of Necedah National Wildlife Refuge $8.00 Free
Hatch Cranberry Marsh Bus Tour $8.00 $8.00
Parking Free (Donations to Boy Scouts appreciated)

For crafters, exhibitors, and commercial booth fees please see Exhibitors Page

The Necedah Lions Club and the Necedah Wisconsin Lions Charities(a 501 (c) (3) organization) charges a fee to help cover the rental costs of the tents, equipment, and busses. Any profits made are donated to the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership, contributed to the needy in the community via new eye glasses and food baskets, or given to the area challenged-youth summer camp. We make every attempt to keep the fees reasonable.



Program Title
Tent (A or B)*
9:00 a.m.
Lisa Hartman & 
Michael Mossman
"Natural History of 
Turkey Vultures"
9:00 a.m.
Joel Trick
"Kirtland's Warbler
in Wisconsin"
10:00 a.m.
Erin Railsback
"Food Stamps For
10:00 a.m.
Bob Anderson
"Returning the Duck
Hawk to the 
Mississippi Bluffs"
11:00 a.m.
John French
"Whooping Crane 
Biology & Restoration"
11:00 a.m.
Awards Ceremony
"Awards for Whoop It Up 10K Run"
12:00 p.m.
Lisa Hartman &
Michael Mossman
"Natural History of 
Turkey Vultures"
12:00 p.m.
Joel Trick
"Kirtland's Warblers
in Wisconsin"
1:00 p.m.
John French
"Whooping Crane Biology & Restoration"
1:00 p.m.
Bob Anderson
"Returning the Duck
Hawk to the Mississippi Bluffs"
2:00 p.m.
Erin Railsback
"Food Stamps For 
Ducks "
2:00 p.m.
Jim Backus
"Nature Photography"
3:00 p.m.
Joe Duff
"Flying with Birds"

** Speakers and their locations subject to change



Results of the 2010 Raffle Prizes

  Item Number Description Donated by Winners Name
$2,000 Cash Necedah Lions Jamie Johannssen
$1,000 Cash Necedah Lions Jason Steen
$500 Cash Necedah Lions Mr. and Mrs. Paul Tadda
Large Stain Glass Crane   Alena Banzing
Spotting Scope   Kendra Bartels
Carved Canada Goose   Diane Phillips
Cardinal Painted Plate   Michael Belmonte, Sr.
Whooping Crane Picture   Don Dodge
Wine Basket Burr Oak Winery Diane Phillips
Monkey Puppet   Sue Stumpner
Walking Stick Friends of Necedah Bob Stumpner

Drawings were held on Saturday, September 18th, 2010
Tickets were available through the Necedah Wisconsin Lions Charities.
Congratulations to all the 2010 winners and THANK YOU to all who bought tickets to help support our charity programs.



Fourth Annual Whooping Crane & Wildlife Festival Photo Contest


Theme for the 2010 photo contest was

Wild Animals of Wisconsin

Congratuations to Teri Miles of Edgerton, Wisconsin for winning.


Contest Rules

All entries must be postmarked by September 3, 2010.

No Professionals. This contest is ONLY open to amateur photographers. We define a professional as anyone who profits from their photography in any way other than photo contests.

Number of entries per person: no more than 5 (five) allowed.

There will be two categories by age: a youth category 15 years old and under; and an adult category 16 years old and older.

Each image must be the work of the person submitting the entry.

Please clearly mark the back of your entry with your name and address.

Winners will be announced at the Whooping Crane & Wildlife Festival on Saturday, September 18, 2010. Prizes will be an engraved plaque along with a framed 8 x 10 of each category's winning entry.

Submissions may be taken with digital or film cameras, but will need to be submitted as prints. No online digital entries.

All photos are to be black & white or color, 3x5 or 4x6 in size.

Entries will not be returned.

Please send your entries to:

Photo Contest 
W4593 Palace Road 
Necedah, WI 54646



The Necedah Lions Club and the Necedah Wisconsin Lions Charities (a 501 (c) (3) organization) are part of an international network of 1.3 million men and women in 200 countries and geographic areas who work together to answer the needs that challenge communities around the world.

Known for working to end preventable blindness, the Necedah Lions Club participates in a vast variety of community projects. These projects range from (but not limited to) to help those who are sight impaired and / or blind, to help those who are hearing impaired or deaf, to improve our communities by raising and donating funds to local organizations, schools, and other areas where help is needed, by cleaning up local parks, and providing supplies to victims of natural disasters.

Here is a brief list of our community service:

  • Assiting young people with disabilities at Camp Rosholt, Wisconsin
  • Collecting and distributing home health care equipement such as hospital beds, wheelchairs, and crutches to low income families not only in their area, but throughout the nation and in Mexico.
  • Building wheelchair ramps
  • Cell phone collection*
  • Eyeglass recycling*
  • Children vision screening
  • Youth hearing screening
  • Community Diabetes
  • Environmental Awareness (Whooping Crane & Wildlife Festival)

    Help out our environment by donating your used cell phones. Recycling cell phones is a way of keeping toxic materials out of the environment. At the same time, your cell phone can raise funds for organizations to help needy causes. If you have an unused cell phone that you would like to donate, just drop it off at the Information Booth at the Whooping Crane and Wildlife Festival. We will see that it is properly recycled and if we receive compensation we will see that the money goes toward our projects of sight and hearing conservation.

How to Join

We invite all those who are interested to contact Larry Wargowsky, Membership Chair, at (608) 565-6149 to tell you about our organization. We meet the first and third Thursdays of each month at the Memorial Vets Hall in Necedah.

You can also visit the Necedah Lions booth at the festival to learn more about our organization and club.

Why should I become a Lion?

Lions club members are men and women who strive to make a difference in their local community as well as communities worldwide. Their volunteer efforts go beyond the support of vision care, to addressing unmet health, education, and community service needs locally and worldwide.

As a Lions club member, you can:

  • Make a difference everyday in your community. Whether it is providing support locally or reaching out internationally, you will have an opportunity to serve.
  • Be a part of worldwide organizations carrying out community and humanitarian projects. Members allow Lions clubs worldwide to carry out many community and humanitarian programs.
  • Gain an understanding and have an impact on international humanitarian issues.
  • Develop relationships with both local and international community and business leaders.