Sturgeon Celebration April 13

ugly sturgeon

collage of pics



Today from 10am-3pm, the Princeton Chamber of Commerce and the Princeton Library are holding an event that celebrates the Fox River, local wildlife, and Wisconsin's coolest fish, the Lake Sturgeon!

Every spring, these huge, armored "dinosaur fish" spawn just a couple of blocks from us here at the Princeton Public Library. They are AMAZING to watch! Each year, we always hope that our celebration will coincide with the sturgeon spawn, but this is highly dependent upon water temperatures, so we can't guarantee live sturgeon. However, we CAN guarantee lots of fun!

Our event activities include incredible displays, educational presentations, crafts, giveaways, TONS of great prizes, and more! There is no charge to attend. 

All Day: Sturgeon & Princeton Souvenirs at the Library and the Historical Society
Purchase T-shirts, tumblers, wine glasses, keychains, and more featuring Princeton-area themes, including our famous fish!
All proceeds benefit the Princeton Historical Society.

All Day (or until gone): Nature Kit Giveaway at the Library and Participating Businesses
Pick up a string backpack full of goodies celebrating the outdoors, and Princeton's favorite recreation spots!
Each kit contains maps, coupons, stickers, wildlife ID cards, a compass, and even butterfly weed seeds. Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.

All Day: Sturgeon Taxidermy, Spearing Gear, & Sturgeon Art by Mark Kanitz at the Library
Check out these amazing displays! Mark Kanitz is a sturgeon spearman as well as a member and supporter of "Sturgeon for Tomorrow." Touch real tanned sturgeon skin, admire his handmade lures and art, and ask him about his battles with river monsters.

All Day: Ugly Sturgeons on Display at the Library
Today all fish entered in the contest will be on display for your entertainment! Vote for your favorite to receive the People's Choice Award. The winner of this award will receive $25. The Ugly Sturgeon Contest is a real hoot-- last year we even made it on TV!
Prizes are sponsored by the Princeton Chamber of Commerce.

About the Ugly Sturgeon Contest:
Starting March 18th, anyone can pick up small papier-mâché fish at the library and decorate them. (Please, only 1 fish per family.) Ugly fish need to be turned in to the library by Monday, April 8th for judging. The creator(s) of the ugliest fish will receive $25 in Chamber Bucks, which can be spent at any business that is a member of the Chamber of Commerce. What's "ugly?" YOU decide!  Flashing Christmas lights and sequins? Multicolor neon paint?  Celebrity faces instead of scales? Tissue paper fur? It's all fair game- but please keep entries PG/family-friendly.

11am-1pm: Snacks & Sturgeon Crafts at the Library
Join us for free refreshments and crafts!
All ages are welcome to join us in decorating life-sized sturgeon cutouts with a variety of materials. We also have coloring pages and a 3D paper sturgeon craft.

1-2pm: Sturgeon Egg Scramble --   Held in the city parking lot across from the library.
What's more fun than watching the sturgeon spawn? Winning CASH!
We will be dumping hundreds of "sturgeon eggs" (Ping Pong balls) from a height of 30 feet. Your job is to scramble after them!
Each person can chase and choose one lucky ball to turn in for a prize.
The winning balls have a number or colored dot on it, and these correspond to awesome prizes.
There will be carnival prizes plus Chamber Bucks checks!
This event is open to all ages. Please do not use nets or other devices to scoop up balls, and be careful not to knock over kids.
You get to turn in ONE ping pong ball, and no exchanges may be made after the buzzer sounds.
Sponsored by the Princeton Chamber of Commerce.

2pm-3pm: Presentation by Joan Voigt, DNR Educator, Wild Rose Fish Hatchery at the Library
Longtime educator Joan Voigt will give a talk focused on spawning and the sturgeon life cycle. She is bringing fun fish science props, a large tri-fold display on sturgeon with photos, an egg stages of development display, and preserved young sturgeon samples. She will be doing a great PowerPoint presentation with video. Read more about her and her work at

For more information about the sturgeon, please visit the Princeton Chamber of Commerce website:


Princeton Public Library
424 West Water Street
Princeton, WI 54968-9147
Phone: 920.295.6777
Fax: 920-295-3303

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