Multiple Brat-Themed Events Ongoing In Madison

In Madison, Memorial Day weekend is known for many things, chief among them being the annual Brat Fest celebration.

But this year, folks looking for brats had three different festivals held for three different reasons to choose from. One of those included Wurst Times, an alternative approach with a political message.

“The underlying reason for the event is political,? Wurst Times organizer Rodney Knoke said.

Knoke said he is boycotting Brat Fest because Johnsonville, the meat supplier of the event, contributed money to Gov. Scott Walker’s gubernatorial campaign. Knoke is setting up shop at the High Noon Saloon instead, where the bar is allowing Wurst Times to provide bands and brats throughout the day. He says his venue is simply another choice for people.

“I think there’s room enough for everyone to have their event,? Knoke said. “Johnsonville can have their event, I can have mine and People’s Brat Fest is going on at the Capitol.?

Bill Fetty is one of the organizers of the People’s Brat Fest at the farmer’s market. He said the real meat of the event isn’t what’s between the bun, but where it comes from.

“How much more local does it get than your own farms and farmers bringing their goods to the market,? Fetty said.

Although the food at the original Brat Fest may not be home grown, organizer Tim Metcalfe said all the proceeds stay local.

“It’s always been about giving back and celebrating our heritage as Wisconsinites and raising money for charity,” Metcalfe said.

Metcalfe says he hopes to sell more than 200,000 brats over the Memorial Day weekend. The record is 209,376.

Saturday?s numbers from Brat Fest: Nearly 93,000 brats sold.

Sunday brat seekers can also check out the Alt Brat Fest happening at Orton Park.

The festival starts at 11 a.m. Organizers are asking attendees for a donation of $10 to $15, which will go toward assisting local charities.