The friendly and inviting city of Ripon is an active community set among historic buildings and well- preserved architecture from the late 19th century. City streets are dotted with eye-catching Victorian houses known as Painted Ladies. These colorful homes bring to mind an era of elegance and grace. The bustling historic downtown features a variety of businesses in buildings whose architecture dates back to the 1860s. The character and charm of these structures enhances your shopping and dining experience. Take the walking tour of our city center to fully enjoy our beautiful architectural history.
Throughout the year, locals and visitors come to Ripon to take part in a myriad of eclectic events. The Friday Night Concert Series at the Village Green is a summertime favorite. Cookie Daze, which takes place the first Saturday in August, is a wonderful family festival featuring crafts, games, kid-made rockets and, of course, cookies! During Septemberfest we celebrate the beauty of our fall season with live music, the Watson Street car and motorcycle show, a charity sponsored dog walk, local food vendors, and other fun filled activities for the whole family to enjoy The beloved Dickens of a Christmas weekend kicks off the holidays on the first full weekend in December. The warmth of hot cider or hot chocolate, caroling, horse-drawn carriage rides, and snack on roasted chestnuts while viewing living scenes of days gone by in our downtown storefront windows known as Living Windows, Breakfast with Santa for the kids, Christmas Shopping throughout our unique stores, an Annual Quilt Show, Enchanted Forest, and a holiday Tour of Homes showcasing some of the distinct properties in our area.
Ripon holds a special place in our nation’s history: The Little White Schoolhouse, built in 1853, is the birthplace of the Republican Party, and a National Historic Landmark. This quaint and charming building witnessed the creation of a national movement that began on March 20, 1854. The Little White Schoolhouse is open for visitors to admire antique artifacts, to learn more about Ripon, and to understand what school life was like for children in the 1850s.
Ripon College, a nationally recognized private liberal arts and sciences school, founded in 1851, is a 250 acre campus that flows into the community with buildings dating back to the 19th century. The college provides cultural and sporting events open for everyone to enjoy. Throughout the year renowned guest speakers visit the campus, and we are graced with performances by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and entertaining productions by the Ripon College Theatre Department.
While visiting Ripon, make sure you explore our parks and trails (for walking, running, biking or cross country skiing) visitors may also want to catch a movie at the historic Campus Cinema, which is the first of many Marcus Cinemas founded by Ben Marcus in 1935. Ripon’s Vines and Rushes Winery is a must-stop for wine enthusiasts and those interested Wisconsin’s agri-tourism.
These are just a few of the wonderful opportunities and fun times awaiting you in Ripon. Come. Find out why Ripon is the ideal place to live, work, play, and prosper.
Be sure to check the calendar of events for all of the details.