Get Ready for the Oshkosh ToonFest: the Wisconsin Poker Run this July

Compete for prizes and meet new friends in the pontoon-only event

April 2024 Feature Rebecca Blackson

Registration is open for the fourth annual Oshkosh ToonFest held on the beautiful Winnebago Waterways of Wisconsin. Happening this July 13, the all-day ToonFest is a poker run for pontoon boats of all makes and sizes, guiding boaters along a tour of local businesses. The day of boating camaraderie will end with prize awards, dinner for all participants, and live entertainment at Dockside Tavern.

You don’t have to have the fastest boat or best helmsman to win a prize; just have your card stamped at each stop along the way to be entered to win cash prizes. Last year prize money was awarded for first, second, and third place, but this year even more prizes will be awarded for the first five places. Each boat can have up to 12 passengers, and the $30 per person registration fee gets participants can koozies, prizes, entertainment, and dinner at Dockside Tavern. Those who register before June 15 are also guaranteed an event shirt. The outing begins and ends at the Sweetwater Performance Center and adjacent Dockside Tavern.

Above all else, ToonFest is a community experience—an opportunity to meet fellow boating enthusiasts and spend quality time on the water. The event has continued to grow in numbers, and the event’s founders are expecting over 60 boats and 600 people this year. “Every year we attract more and more people. We have landed over 15 platinum sponsors for this upcoming event. Everybody is willing to help promote a great event where all proceeds go back directly to the community. Last year we were able to donate $10,000 to the Oshkosh Boys & Girls Club. We hope everybody will enjoy this year’s great entertainment, prizes, and a nice buffet,” founder Jeff Eiden said.

Anyone with a pontoon is welcome to come, and contestants walk away with themed merchandise and possibly some new friends they met on the journey. They’ll also have a newfound appreciation for the waterways of Wisconsin and all the area has to offer.

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