Celebrate birds and blooms in Mercer June 8
By Laurie Lenten
For a fun-filled day of enjoying the birds and blooms of the Northwoods, be sure to check out the 13th Annual Lupine Junefest and the Mercer Bird Festival – two great events in and of themselves – that will run concurrently on Saturday, June 8, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., at W.S. Carow Park in Mercer.
If you Go
This year’s Lupine Junefest will offer bicyclists four scenic rides from which to choose, featuring 10, 28, and 50 mile routes, as well as a “Pick your Distance” Mercer Trail ride, that will take cyclists along paved roads through rolling hills, and past lakes, rivers, forests, and wildlife all while enjoying the miles and miles of blooming pink, purple, and white lupines that are abundant this time of year throughout the southern part of Iron County.
Check-in and on-site registration for Lupine Junefest bike tours will begin at 6:30 a.m. the day of the event at W.S. Carow Park in Mercer with a group start at 8 a.m. The registration fee includes a T-shirt (only guaranteed if you pre-registered by May 20), goodie bag, snacks, lunch coupon, water, and SAG vehicle support.
An early Packet Pick-Up, to give riders the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the bike routes and get acquainted with event organizers and fellow riders, will be held on Friday evening, June 7, from 4 to 6 p.m., at Carow Park.
While cyclists are out enjoying the beauty of the lupines in bloom, birders of all ages and levels can enjoy the Mercer Bird Festival activities that will be going on throughout the day at Carow Park.
Being recognized as a Bird City by Bird City Wisconsin, Mercer offers programs meant to educate both residents and visitors alike about birds and conservation practices. The Mercer Bird Festival is part of the town’s affiliation with Bird City Wisconsin and is open to birders of all ages.
The day’s events will include on-site activities including live bird education, bird banding demonstrations, and displays. A variety of birding field trips will also be offered throughout the event and will include – two birding walks with Naturalist John Bates at the Little Turtle Wildlife Area from 7-9 a.m. and 9-11 a.m.; the Turtle Flambeau Flowage Scenic Waters Area with Zach Wilson from 7 to 9 a.m.; and an Eagle Banding Trip with Bruce Bacon from 9 to 11 a.m. Field trips are $10 per person (Children 12 and under are free), except for the Eagle Banding Trip, which is $15 per person for both children and adults.
The day will also include Birdhouse Building for Kids at 11 a.m. and a Bird Calling Contest at noon. Participants will compete in three age groups (1-7, 8-15, and 16-100) for the chance to walk away with one of the 1st place awards that will be given in each category.
Online registration for both the Lupine Junefest bike rides and the Mercer Birding Festival birding field trips is currently going on. Paper registration forms are available to download and print.
For more information, or to register for the 13th Annual Lupine Junefest or the Mercer Birding Festival, call the Mercer
Chamber of Commerce at 715-476-2389, or log onto www.lupinejunefest.org.
Laurie Lenten is a freelance writer whose articles have also appeared in Northwoods Commerce, Northwoods ‘boomers and Beyond, and Living on the Lake magazines. She lives in Rhinelander.