Local Culture History

11 Sconnie Fun Facts for Your Next Trivia Night

Ty Randerson |

How much do you know about Wisconsin? Living here is one thing, but our great state has some pretty cool trivia. How many of these cool Wisconsin facts did you already know?

Green Bay's East River, just one of the many miles of Wisconsin water
Green Bay's East River
1. Wisconsin's rivers and streams are longer than you might think

If you laid all of Wisconsin's rivers and streams end to end they would be 26,767 miles long, almost 2,000 miles more than the Earth's circumference! It's amazing that all fits inside our mitten shaped state.

2. Wisconsin has how many lakes?

Keeping with our massive waterways, Wisconsin is home to approximately 16,692 lakes according to a DNR estimate. Take that Minnesota!

Current cheeseheads contain 0% couch.
Current cheeseheads contain 0% couch.
3. An old couch gave birth to The Cheesehead

The first of the now iconic cheesehead you see fill the stands on Packers Sunday was originally made of burnt couch AND started at a Brewers game! Sports enthusiast and true Sconnie Ralph Bruno was reupholstering his mom's couch when he saw the foam and decided to embrace cheesehead like no one else. A few burnt holes and some yellow paint have made Bruno a true Sconnie hero!

4. The origin of the Wisconsin badger isn't actually the animal

Since 1957 the badger has been the official state animal of Wisconsin, but the origin of the Wisconsin badger actually refers to lead miners. In the 1820s miners would travel for work and didn't have anyplace to stay so they dug holes to sleep in, much like the beloved badger.

5. Wisconsin's is home to three "UFO Capitals"

Belleville, Dundee, and Elmwood, Wisconsin all claim to be the UFO capital of the world despite what Rosewell might have to say about that.

ET phone a friend
Elmwood, WIsconsin's (never used) landing port.
6. Wisconsin almost had an official state microbe

Move out of the way badgers and robins we've got a new Wisconsin symbol! In 2010 we almost made "lactococcus lactis" the official microbe of Wisconsin. And yes, of course it's used in making cheese.

7. You can major in your favorite food!

Wisconsin is the first - and only - state to offer a master cheese making program. It takes three years to complete and you have to have ten years of prior cheesemaking experience before even applying to the program. We don't take the title Master Cheesemaker lightly.

8. Wisconsin beats all other states in water fun

Noah's Ark in Wisconsin Dells really is the largest water park in the U.S. and Wisconsin Dells as a whole has the largest concentration of water parks in the world. ALso – Somerset, Wis. is the inner tubing capital of the world. Maybe it's the beautiful weather after a long winter or just access to so much water around the state but Wisconsin beats all other states when it comes to having fun on the water.

Slip and Slide into fun! Image: Wikimedia Commons
Slip and Slide into fun!
9. Wisconsin hosts the nation's largest music festival

The Chippewa Valley has made quite a name for itself lately when it comes to music festivals but Summerfest in Milwaukee, Wis. is still the largest music festival in the U.S. Summerfest averages 2,500 performers and over one million visitors each year with a Guinness World Record to prove it!

I can see where the record comes from. Image: Everfest.com
Summerfest: I can see where the record comes from. Image: Everfest.com
10. Wisconsin got overexcited to bring back drinking

Prohibition was repealed in 1933 nationwide however Wisconsinites had been drinking as we pleased for awhile already. In 1929 Wisconsin repealed prohibition statewide and Sconnies rejoiced while Wisconsin senator John Blaine spent the next four years passing the 21st amendment to repeal prohibition nationwide.

11. The swiss cheese capital of the world is where?

It would be a shame to end this list with anything other than a cheese fact so here you go. Monroe, Wis. is actually the (self-proclaimed) swiss cheese capital of the world. Visit Monroe this September for Green County Cheese Days to celebrate your love of all things dairy, no passport required.

Did we surprise you with anything? Let us know in the comments what your favorite fact was and go conquer that trivia night!