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The two closest communities to Ripon College offer charming, small-town appeal and a wide range of dining, entertainment, recreational and volunteer offerings.

The City of Ripon is known as the “Birthplace of the Republican Party” and is a family-oriented community close to larger metropolitan areas, yet offering the peacefulness and safety of small-town Wisconsin. Budget Travel magazine named Ripon one of the “Coolest Small Towns in America” in 2011.

Turn back the hands of time with a walk through one of Ripon’s numerous historic neighborhoods and sites, including the Little White Schoolhouse, birthplace of the Republican Party.

The friendly, personal environment is energized by community celebrations, eclectic shops, tasty cuisine, historic character and natural beauty.

Annual events include:

  • Christmas in the Village, with Santa’s Workshop, carriage rides, reindeer, holiday decorations, and Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick, himself.
  • Dickens of a Christmas, a downtown celebration with living windows, carriage rides, live music, roasted chestnuts, Enchanted Forest, Living Nativity and Tour of Homes. Ripon College students and employees always participate.
  • Cookie Daze, with contests, games and cookies.
  • Septemberfest, a fall festival with live entertainment, custom car and motorcycle show, craft show, shopping and food.

Nearby Green Lake is a quaint lake resort town and serves as a top destination for outdoor enthusiasts. A host of outdoor recreational activities abound year-round, including fishing, sailing, swimming, diving, kayaking, skating, ice boating and lake cruises; as well as golf, hiking, tennis, mini-golf, biking, horseback riding, hot-air balloon rides, public and private hunting grounds, an art gallery and a fruit orchard.

Thrasher Opera House is a historically restored unique venue offering music, theater, opera and dance.