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Summer events happening around Madison

We’re helping you plan your summer with these seasonal events happening in Madtown.


Hot brats plus cold beer: if that ain’t Wisconsin, we’re not sure what is. | Photo by @bratfestofficial

Summer’s (nearly)here, and Madison is so ready. From live music and Memorial Day celebrations, to hiking and festivals, summer is when Madtown comes alive.

Get ready to get outside with this guide featuring 20+ summer events happening between May and August.

Live music

Make Music Madison | Friday, June 21 | Times vary | Various locations | Free | Musicians of all ages, skill levels, and styles will take the stage at public spaces and venues throughout the city.

Willie Nelson | Friday, May 17 | 6 p.m. | Breese Stevens Field, 917 E. Mifflin St. | $68- $558 | He’s on the road again, making a stop in the 608.

La Fête de Marquette | Thursday, July 11-Sunday, July 14 | Times vary | McPike Park, 202 S. Ingersoll St. | Free | Headliners for this local music festival include Luke Slater, The Jimmy’s, and CIMAFUNK.

Atwood Fest | Saturday,  July 27-Sunday, July 28 | Times vary | Free | Enjoy live music while browsing some local food and craft vendors.

608 opera

Enjoy opera outdoors this summer. | Photo by Madison Opera

Opera in the Park | Saturday, July 20 | 8 p.m. | Garner Park, 333 S. Rosa Rd. | Free | This outdoor concert features soloists, the Madison Opera Chorus, and the Madison Symphony Orchestra.

Berry picking and community gardens

Lutz Family Farm, 1477 County Rd. T, Marshall
Strawberries are expected to be ready mid-June while blueberries and sweet corn usually peak from mid-July to August. You’re welcome to pick ‘em yourself or choose from some pre-picked produce.

Troy Farm, 502 Troy Dr.
This farm’s annual plant sale will take place on Saturday, May 11. Stop by to grab locally grown organic vegetables, herbs, and flowers.

UPick Strawberry Farm, 5396 Hahn Rd., DeForest
To be first to know when picking season begins, reach out with your name, email, and phone number.

Home Garden Tour | Friday, July 12-Saturday, July 13 | 9 a.m.-3 p.m. | Various locations | $16 | Tour seven unique home gardens in Sun Prairie.

Food and drink

Bratfest | Friday, May 24-Sunday, May 26 | Times vary | Alliant Energy Center, 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way | Cost of purchase | Madison’s favorite Memorial Day weekend celebration is currently seeking volunteers, sign up today.

Taste of Madison | Saturday, Aug. 31-Sunday, Sept. 1 | Times vary | Capitol Square | Cost of purchase | Walk around the square while enjoying bites and bevs from 80 different local vendors.

Mad Gluten Free Fest | Sunday, June 2 | ALT Brew, 1808 Wright St.
No gluten? No problem. Gluten-intolerant folks can dig in without worrying about the ingredient list at this gluten-free food festival.

Great Taste of the Midwest | Saturday, Aug. 10 | 1-6 p.m. | Olin Park, 1156 Olin-Turville Ct. | Price TBD | In-person ticket sales kick off on Sunday, May 5 at various Madison locations including Giant Jones Brewing, Delta Beer Lab, and The Cider Farm.

Shop local

LunART Festival | Wednesday, May 29-Sunday, June 2 | Times vary | Hamel Music Center; Arts + Lit Lab | $0-$35 | Celebrate women’s creativity during this festival that features panel discussions and musical performances.

608 art fair

Get your creative juices flowing at Art Fair on the Square | Photo by Art Fair on the Square

Art Fair on the Square | Saturday, July 13-Sunday, July 14 | 9 a.m.-6 p.m., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Capitol Square | Free | More than 500 artists from around Wisconsin will gather on the square to exhibit their work.

Maxwell Street Days | Thursday, July 18-Sunday, July 21 | Times vary | State Street | Cost of purchase | State Street will transform into an outdoor market where locals can score deals from some of their favorite downtown shops.

Community gatherings

Cars on State | Saturday, June 1 | 10 a.m.-3 p.m. | State Street | Free | Car enthusiasts can check out classic vehicles and chat with the owners.

Cows on the Concourse | Saturday, June 1 | 8 a.m.-1 p.m. | 100 block of Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., Madison | Free | Think: a block party, but with cows.

Cow giving major side eye

What’re moo lookin’ at? | Photo by 608today

WaunaBoom | Thursday, July 4 | 2-10:30 p.m. | Ripp Park, 213 Dorn Dr., Waunakee | Cost of purchase | In addition to family-friendly activities and fireworks, there will be a Black Hawk fly-in by the 147th Aviation Regiment and an F-35 flyover by the 115th Fighter Wing.

Monona Community Festival | Tuesday, July 2-Thursday, July 4 | Times vary | Winnequah Park, 1055 Nichols Rd., Monona | Cost of purchase | Events include a classic car show, keg toss, and the Wisconsin Wife Carry Championship.

Seasonal essentials

  • Tired of losing your sunglasses in the water? These floating sunglasses provide optimal clarity and comfort for all your summer adventures.
  • Shield yourself from the sun while adding a touch of flair to your outfit with one of our hats.
  • This iceless cooler keeps your drinks cold for 7 hours.
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