Upcoming Events in Madison

A performer in the Willy Street Parade, 2010

Madison is kicking off another season of community events, the kind our city is known for -- spirited, inspiring, and downright fabulous!

Check out a sampling below -- our favorite upcoming events in Madison in the next few weeks, hand-picked just for you...


Sept. 19: Stacked!: Remember Bookless, last January? The really cool (and long-lined!) event where librarians, artists, and local restaurants worked together to fill the emptied-out Central Library with art and food and beer? Well, now that the new Madison Central Library is about to re-open, think of Stacked! as Bookless's bookend. Art installations, live music on every floor, local fare, and and a lightshow dance party on the new 3rd floor. We've always been a fan of public libraries -- but the folks at Madison Public Library are really outdoing themselves. $12 in advance, $15 at the door.

Sept. 19-22: Confectionique Craft Market: One of our favorite craft extravaganzas, this delightful marketplace opens once a month, with a rotating cast of goodies according to each month's theme. From refurbished vintage furniture and other large-scale pieces, to smaller home decor and great gift ideas. Inspired by the flea markets of Paris -- a delightful surprise located (of all places!) inside the Middleton Municipal Airport.

Sept. 21: REAP Food for Thought Festival: Madison has a well-deserved place on the local foods map -- and the Food for Thought Festival is one reason why. This annual event combines food tastings, workshops, kid-friendly activities and more, all in a single day celebrating the ways sustainable eating can be delicious and fun. We're especially excited about the Festival's "Food Camp," which "offers opportunities to participate, taste, and learn on topics like beekeeping, backyard chickens, yogurt and kombucha-making, extending the growing season, and more."

Sept. 21-22: Willy Street Fair & Parade: A dearly loved, Eastside Madison tradition. A little bit of Mardi Gras in the Midwest, with music stages up and down Williamson Street, food carts and craft booths, and a psychedelic parade of street performers unlike anything you've likely seen before. If you've never made it down to the Willy Street Fair, mark your calendars and make your Madisonian status official.

Sept. 26-29: Wisconsin Science Festival: Something to discover for all ages! Hand-on activities, workshops, lectures, film screenings, & more. At the world-class Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, Aldo Leopold Nature Center, & other locations. Free of charge (though there is a charge for materials for certain events).

Sept. 28: Madison Historic Neighborhoods Bus Tour: Always wondered about some of the historic homes you've seen as you drive around town? Here's your chance to learn about their history. The Madison Trust for Historic Preservation offered its first Neighborhood Bus Tour back in June, and it was so popular they decided to do it again. But sign up fast -- these seats will go quickly. $30 for MTHP members, $40 for the general public.

Sept. 28-29: Gays Mills Apple Fest: A great reason for a day trip! Nothing says "fall is here!" quite like a small-town autumn festival. At the Gays Mills Apple Fest, you'll find all sorts of activities, a parade, a flea market, and -- of course! -- all things celebrating the freshly harvested apple.

Oct. 1: Save Your Own Seeds Gardening Workshop: Love to garden? Here's your chance to learn how to gather, preserve, and re-use seeds from your own garden, from the experts at Olbrich Gardens. The workshop will include a hands-on demonstration along the Capital City Bike Trail. Registration is required, deadline 9/24. $15  for members of Olbrich Gardens, $19 for everybody else.

Oct. 17-20: Wisconsin Book Festival: Another Madison tradition, this one in the midst of a major transition. After 11 years under the direction of the Wisconsin Humanities Council, this 12th Annual Wisconsin Book Festival has moved to a new home -- the Madison Public Library. Timed to coincide with the unveiling of the brand-new Central Library, the Book Fest will feature locally and nationally known authors, turning downtown Madison into a four-day literary salon. Events are free, with something for all ages.

This is just a short list of all the wonderful upcoming events in and around Madison. Have an event you'd like to add to the list? Let us know in the comments section!