To early European immigrants, the delicate pink blossoms of cranberry vines resembled the heads of cranes, so they called the tart, red fruits "crane berries." Over time, the name was shortened to "cranberry."
"During Cranberry Blossom Day, you can see for yourself if cranberry blossoms really look like a crane's head," says Lorry Erickson, director of the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center in Warrens.
The June 30 event is co-sponsored by the Cranberry Discovery Center and Wetherby Cranberry Company, a Warrens area cranberry marsh.
The Wetherby marsh will be open for tours from 9 a.m. to noon, offering visitors an up-close look at cranberry vines in bloom. Third-generation cranberry grower Nodji Van Wychen will be on hand to answer questions about her family's cranberry operation.
After touring the marsh, visitors can learn more about Wisconsin's No.1 fruit crop at the Cranberry Discovery Center. Housed in a historic cranberry warehouse in downtown Warrens, the nonprofit Center is dedicated to educating the public about the state's cranberry growing heritage.
As part of the festivities, the Center will offer cranberry wine tasting and gourmet cranberry food sampling. At 1 and 3 p.m., there also will be cranberry recipe demonstrations.
There is no fee to tour the Wetherby marsh. There is a nominal admission fee to visit the Center's exhibit hall, which features video and audio recordings, storyboards and interactive displays, including a cranberry corralling game where visitors can test their skill.
The Wetherby marsh is 4.5 miles east of Warrens on county Highway EW. The Cranberry Discovery Center is located at 204 Main Street.
For more information, visit the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center's Web site at www.discovercranberries.com or call (608) 378-4878.