May 02, 2022

56th annual La Crosse Barbed Wire Festival set for this month

Posted May 02, 2022 10:15 AM
Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo


LA CROSSE — La Crosse is gearing up for the 56th annual Barbed Wire Festival May 5 to 7. For over 50 years, people have been traveling from all over the western United States to take part in this unique annual event. This year’s theme is “Sailing into a New Adventure.”

This year’s festival features a special exhibition of “In Search of Earth’s Secrets” in cooperation with Sternberg Museum of Natural History. Funded by the National Science Foundation, In Search of Earth's Secrets allows audiences to enjoy hands-on experience while learning about exciting science topics researched by the JOIDES Resolution such as earthquakes, volcanoes, and the extinction of the dinosaurs. The exhibit will be on display at the Kansas Barbed Wire Museum from May 5-17, 2022.

On Friday, the festivities begin at 8:00am at the La Crosse City Auditorium with displays of antiques and collectibles, crafts items, military displays, and of course, lots of barbed wire related items. The favorite “Tribute to Veterans” will once again be on display with historical military items, some never before seen. Displays will be open until 5:00pm.

Festivities move to the La Crosse Fire Department for the Barbecue and Casino Night at 6:30pm. After enjoying homemade burgers, brats and more, participants receive free “Barbed Bucks” that they can use to play a variety of casino style games. At the end of the evening, participants use their “Barbed Bucks” to purchase items in a fun and exciting live auction. Cost of the meal is $10, but there is no charge to participate in the games. Proceeds support the educational mission of the museum.

Saturday is filled with events for all ages. The auditorium opens at 8:00 am for a second day of displays. For bargain hunters, there will be community garage sales throughout town with maps available at the Festival Registration Desk. At 10:00, “The World Champion Barbed Wire Splicing Contest”™ starts with men’s, ladies’ and youth competitions open to everyone. 

Events at the auditorium conclude at 3:00 pm with the Live Fund Raising Auction featuring barbed wire and other collectibles offered to the highest bidder. At 6:30, the festival moves to the La Crosse Country Club for the Evening Banquet featuring live music. A limited number of banquet tickets are available. 

The festival concludes on Sunday with a non-denominational church service at 11:00 am in the Grass Park Shelter House across the creek from the museum complex followed by a community picnic sponsored by the La Crosse United Methodist Church.

For more information, or a full schedule of events, visit us at or on Facebook. Questions, call 785-222-2808. The event is sponsored by the Kansas Barbed Wire Collectors Association. All activities are open to the public and there is no admission charge.