Plus, the fate of Essen Haus.
 
February 9, 2024 6AM-Top banner logo-small.png

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Today’s Forecast

46º | Mostly sunny | 5% chance of rain | Sunrise 7:03 a.m. | Sunset 5:20 p.m.

 
🐉 Ring in the Year of the Dragon
Yellow lion dance performance costume
The State Street performance takes place at Lisa Link Park. | Photo by 608today
The start of the Lunar New Year coincides with the date of the new moon in China, which will occur today at 4:59 p.m. here in Madison.

Each year on the lunar calendar is represented by one of 12 animals, and 2024 is the Year of the Dragon. In Chinese culture, people born in a dragon year (1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012) are said to be confident, generous, idealistic, and ambitious.

🦁 Lion dances

Since 1995, the Zhong Yi Kung Fu Association (ZYKFA) has been helping the community celebrate the Lunar New Year and learn traditional Chinese martial arts.

Throughout the next few weeks, the organization will be performing Lion Dances around the 608 in honor of the holiday. Lion Dances are often performed to bring good luck to the community.

Two lion dance performers -- one green, one yellow -- dance for a crowd at Lisa Link Park.

Get in the Lunar New Year spirit with ZYKFA. | Video by 608today

Pro tip: we suggest checking out the State Street event on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 12 p.m.

📍 Other local happenings

Year of the Dragon cookie boxes | Bloom Bake Shop, 1851 Monroe St., Madison
Head baker Christy shares her family traditions with Madisonians through an annual Lunar New Year treat box. This year’s goodies include sugar cookies, Hup Toh Soh walnut cookies, and Nin Gau squares.

A treat box with Lunar New Year-themed goodies.

Last year, Bloom Bake Shop celebrated the Year of the Rabbit. | Photo by 608today

Crafting sessions | Madison Children’s Museum, 100 N. Hamilton St., Madison
For the cost of museum admission, kids can participate in the Exploration Station’s Lunar New Year crafting sessions. Think: paper dragon eyes, Lunar New Year lanterns, and crepe paper dragons.

Vegetarian cooking class | St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 605 Spruce St., Madison
Adults will learn how to whip up some traditional lucky foods. The menu includes spring rolls, dumplings, and long noodles.

Lunar New Year Celebration | Verona Public Library, 500 Silent St., Verona
Families are invited for a morning of activities, crafting, and learning on Saturday, Feb. 10. The event runs 9:30-11:30 a.m. and guests are encouraged to wear red.
 
Events
 
Friday, Feb. 9
  • Curator Conversation | Friday, Feb. 9 | 10 a.m. | Chazen Museum of Art, 750 University Ave., Madison | Free | Learn about Chazen’s art collection from a curator.
Saturday, Feb. 10
  • Couples Cocktail Class | Saturday, Feb. 10 | 6-8 p.m. | Garver Feed Mill, 3241 Garver Green, Madison | $170 | Let the Garver bartenders teach you how to make delicious cocktails.
  • Goth AF Valentine’s Dance Party | Saturday, Feb. 10 | 9 p.m. | Crucible, 3116 Commercial Ave., Madison | $5 | Dance the night away with DJs Bandit and Serotine.
Sunday, Feb. 11
  • Clothing Buyback Sunday | Sunday, Feb. 11 | 12-5 p.m. | Chrysalis Hair and Body, 255 N. Sherman Ave., Madison | Free | Bring your gently used clothing for either 25% of the resale value in cash or 50% in store credit.
  • Live Jazz | Sunday, Feb. 11 | 2-4 p.m. | The Cider Farm, 8216 Watts Rd., Madison | Free | Sarah Pray and her father will perform jazz standards from the 30s to today.
Monday, Feb 12
  • Build-A-Brand: Merchandising for Teens | Monday, Feb. 12 | 6-7 p.m. | Meadowridge Library, 5726 Raymond Rd., Madison | Free | Have a teen with a business idea? The library is here to help.
  • Rigby-Oke | Monday, Feb. 12 | 10 p.m. | The Rigby, 119 E. Main St., Madison | Free | Brave the stage or sit back and enjoy the show.
Tuesday, Feb. 13
  • Transportation Options | Tuesday, Feb. 13 | 3-5 p.m. | Pinney Library, 204 Cottage Grove Rd., Madison | Free | Metro Transit employees will field questions about transportation resources outside of a single-passenger vehicle.
  • Tabletop RPG’s | Tuesday, Feb. 13 | 6 p.m. | Noble Knight Gaming Hall, 2835 Commerce Park Dr., Fitchburg | Free | Spend an evening of D&D play, or play other RPGs.
Click here to have your event featured.
 
 
News Notes
 
Development
  • The 500 block of East Wilson Street may soon be different, but some historic elements will remain. The redeveloped block will include a new hotel, housing, and parking. The facades of Come Back In and J.B. Drives Store Building will be preserved. Hotel Ruby Marie will be remodeled. (Wisconsin State Journal)
Watch
  • Set your DVRs now. Season 21 of Bravo’s “Top Chef” will begin airing on March 20. The Wisconsin season, which features Madison, has 14 episodes and will air Wednesdays on NBC. They’ll be available the next day on Peacock. (Wisconsin State Journal)
Outdoors
  • Madison Parks is updating its Park and Open Space Plan and is seeking input from area residents. The purpose of the plan is to guide and inform public park policies and facility decisions. Four open house drop-in sessions begin Thursday, April 4 at Vel Phillips Memorial High School.
Environment
  • Things are looking bright. Dane County has achieved 100% renewable energy in county facilities. By partnering with Alliant Energy, Madison Gas & Electric, and Pieper Power, we became the 4th county in the US to operate on 100% renewable energy. (Badger Herald)
Cause
  • Don’t adjust your radio dial. WORT-FM (which we recently visited) will host its winter pledge drive from Feb. 26 through Mar. 10. Roughly 75% of WORT’s income is derived from these pledge drives. WORT is asking Madisonians to volunteer by answering phones.
Number
Eat
  • Madison is a pizza town, especially during the Super Bowl. According to the American Pizza Community, in 2022 an estimated 12.5 million pizzas were sold in the US on game day. Local pizza makers are taking steps to handle the coming blitz. (Channel 3000)
Sports
  • Planning to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday? Stream it with a Paramount+ with Showtime subscription — get 30 days free with code SUPERBOWL.*
Announced
  • We’re excited to share that 6AM City, our parent company, closed its Series A funding round led by the media company, TEGNA. This partnership means continuing to deliver the same hyper-local news and events while expanding our reach to new readers and communities. Learn more.
 
 
Events
 
🌼 Dinos and flowers and fossils, oh my!
In the foreground are bright purple orchids. In the background, a fake raptor dinosaur skeleton.
Jurassic Park or Madison, Wisconsin? | Photo by 608today
Orchid Escape: Rise of the Angiosperm transports Olbrich Botanical Gardens visitors 70 million years into the past to learn about the origins of orchids.

When: Daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. through Sunday, March 3
Where: Olbrich Botanical Gardens, 3330 Atwood Ave., Madison
Cost: $8

🦖 What to expect

The experience is more than just pretty flowers. This immersive educational exhibit offers takeaways for all ages.

Kids can stop by the Discovery Cart for interactive activities to help them grasp big ideas about fossils, flowers, and dinosaurs. In addition to ambient dinosaur noises, some thematic decor includes dinosaur skeletons and colorful eggs.

Adults can enjoy the more in-depth information boards scattered throughout the exhibit. Flower enthusiasts should keep an eye out for the award-winning orchid arrangements donned with first, second, and third-place ribbons given by the Orchid Growers Guild.

🛍️ Orchid sale

If the exhibit leaves you wanting an orchid of your own, you’re in luck. When the exhibit concludes, Olbrich will conduct an online sale featuring a selection of flower types from Orchid Escape. Order pick-up will take place 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, March 9 on-site.
 
The Buy
 
Your must-have from Six & Main’s winter skin edit, featuring face wash, lip balm, and serums to keep your skin hydrated and radiant during the cooler months. Did we mention all products are from small businesses, too?
 
Answered
 
Yesterday, we asked what sport our readers enjoy watching the most. Here’s what you said:

“Other” submissions include volleyball, soccer, and Trivial Pursuit.
 
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The Wrap
 
Ally Geiger.jpg Today’s edition by:
Ally
From the editor
I worked at the Come Back In/Essen Haus during high school, so I’m feeling a bit nostalgic about the big changes on the horizon for Wilson Street. However, reminiscing on the trials and tribulations of cleaning up after hungover brunch-goers softens the blow.
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