1. Georgia O’Keeffe
Georgia O’Keeffe was born here in Wisconsin. This well-known 20th-century artist painted southwestern desert scenes, not Wisconsin, in her most famous works, but we will always consider her one of us for getting her start in life here.
2. The Lambeau Leap
The Lambeau Leap is a glorious 15-second ritual involving a Packers’ player who just scored a touchdown soaring up into the adoring crowd to be hugged, patted, and smeared with cheese curds and beer. This tradition has been delighting fans and touchdown scorers alike since LeRoy Butler made the first leap in 1993.
Founded in Sauk City, Wisconsin, Culver’s has been teaching people how to eat cheese curds, frozen custard, and ButterBurgers for over 30 years. If you have never been to a Culver’s, your cholesterol level may be happy, but you are not really giving your taste buds the creamy life they deserve.
4. Wearing your mascot on your head
Although not everyone is cool enough to wear a foam chunk of cheese on their heads, many fans across the nation have started wearing their own mascot — inspired by the dairy state (legend has it that the first cheese head was made out of the stuffing from an old couch). Every time we see an Iowa fan wearing an ear of corn or a Patriots fan wearing a revolutionary era hat, we give them props for trying, but, let’s face it…
5. Frank Lloyd Wright
Possibly the most influential architect of the 20th century, Frank Lloyd Wright was born and raised in Wisconsin. Although Wright designed amazing structures all over the country, it is said that he first drew his inspiration and love for nature from his Wisconsin roots, when he worked on his uncle’s farm as a young boy.
Let’s recognize another Wisconsin unsung hero making modern-day hipsters and union members alike happy since 1844. Well, maybe hipsters weren’t around back then, but you get the point.
7. Mr. Baseball
Bob Uecker was never a great major league player, but with unsurpassed knowledge of the game and the ability to make anyone and everyone laugh, he eventually became well known for his stand-up comedy, TV show, and appearances in the movies Major League and Major League II. Since the Brewers came to Milwaukee in 1970, he has been the voice of the team by colorfully announcing games. And, his beer commercials are classic. We hope he doesn’t “Get up! Get outta here! Gone!” anytime soon.
8. An addictive (and thought-provoking) Netflix show
Raising serious questions about our criminal justice system and causing epic sessions of binge watching, Netflix’s hit, Making a Murderer, took place in Wisconsin. Manitowoc County is a real place and yes, many people there really do have that strong an accent.
9. Santiago Calatrava’s first architectural project in the US
Santiago Calatrava has designed incredible buildings all over the world, but he saved his first US project (Milwaukee Art Museum) for the best city — Milwaukee, WI.
10. Classic TV shows
That 70’s Show, Happy Days, and Laverne & Shirley just wouldn’t have been as good without their settings in Wisconsin. While they entertained and inspired different generations, all three shows offered constant references to Wisconsin life — including Laverne and Shirley working in a brewery in Milwaukee and the infamous Packers’ helmet in That 70’s Show.
11. Mascot races at Baseball Games
Baseball stadiums across the country have started their own versions of a mascot race, but the Milwaukee Brewers were the first to do it with their racing sausages. It’s a beloved tradition to cheer on your favorite running meat among the German Bratwurst, Polish Sausage, Italian Sausage, Hot Dog and Chorizo…and hope they don’t wipe out.
12. Friday fry fish
No one is quite sure where this tradition originated, but Wisconsin has made it famous. Visit a church parish fundraiser, a local union hall, or your neighborhood bar on a Friday night, and you are sure to find this delectable meal.
13. Harley Davidson
For some people, Harley Davidson motorcycles symbolize the love of the open road and rugged individualism. The world’s favorite motorcycle may have traveled on country roads and major highways across the globe, but it was started in a little garage in Milwaukee, Wisconsin by two young brothers and their childhood buddy in 1903. Old guys experiencing a midlife crisis never made leather look so good!
14. OshKosh B’gosh
The world has Wisconsin to thank for this clothing company that has provided awkward matching outfits for siblings since 1895. And yes, Oshkosh is a real place. And yes, everyone walks around in denim overalls there.