Top Festivals and Fairs

If you're looking for festivals and fairs in Madison, look no further. 

Summer means warm days, cold local brews and beats to get you on your feet. Winter and fall give way to perfectly brewed bock beers and hearty fare. In spring, annual staple events like International Festival connect the Madison community to its cultural heritage.

Explore the streets of Madison’s diverse neighborhoods and join the festival fun with these annual celebrations. 

Check out our event calendar for a full list of all events happening in Madison.

February

Frozen Assets Festival | February 2 – 4
A 5K held entirely on the ice? Count us in. After the kick-off race, stay for free family-friendly activities on the ice.  

Winter Carnival | February 7 – 10
This annual carnival offers so much to do, from 3D snowflake making to snowshoe rentals and the Snow Ball. Enjoy all things winter in the heart of UW Madison’s campus. 

Scandihoovian Winter Festival | February 9 – 11
One chilly weekend every February​, the people of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, don their red pointy hats as they celebrate the town's Scandinavian heritage. All are welcome to join in this weekend-long family-friendly celebration of winter!

Self-Discovery Weekend and Winter Getaway | February 16 – 18
Escape the winter blues and join the Monona East Side Business Alliance for a transformative experience. This event is designed to breathe new life into the slower winter months, for adventurous souls seeking a unique opportunity.

Femmestival | February 18
Celebrate and uplift women, femmes and nonbinary entrepreneurs, artists, and producers in a space that cultivates economic inclusivity, equity and proliferation.

Bockfest | February 24
What’s more beautiful than celebrating bock beers with your besties? Bockfest, happens at Capital Brewery every February. You don’t wanna miss this winter beer fest. 

March

Coda Fest | March 7 – 10
Celebrate creative and cultural art forms with four days of live music at Cafe Coda. Check out the website for the daily performance schedule. 

Madison Shamrock Shuffle | March 16
The Madison Shamrock Shuffle is scheduled to run every year around St. Patrick’s Day, celebrating this yearly ritual. The race will start and finish on the 600 Block of State Street.

St. Patrick's Day Parade | March 17
It's time for 'the wearing of the green!' Bring your family and friends and gather around the Capitol Square for the 24th annual St. Patrick's Day celebration.

 

April

Wisconsin Film Festival | April 4 – 11
We’ve all had our fair share of Netflix binges. Sure, they're fun, but there's something special about sitting in a theater. No distractions. No ads. No notifications. At the Wisconsin Film Festival, it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy the magic of big-screen shows. 

Midwest Horse Fair | April 19 – 21
The Midwest Horse Fair is the top 3-day horse fair in America. Every year the Midwest Horse Fair gets bigger & better. 

Doundrins Annual Bloody Mary Fest | April 20
This Annual Bloody Mary Fest at Doundrins Distilling in Cottage Grove is your opportunity to sample Bloody Marys from 10-15 different bars and restaurants and vote for your favorite.

May

Latino Art Fair | May 4
Celebrate the heritage of Latino art and culture with artists throughout Wisconsin, who sell and exhibit paintings, pottery, jewelry and more. 

SpringFest Arts & Crafts Fair | May 4
Over 80 crafters from the Midwest will be selling their handmade goods, with items such as jewelry, baskets, garden art, cards, pottery, woodwork & more. 

Uncork Me Wisconsin | May 11
Yard games, snacks and ice cream accompany this all-you-can-sample wine event at Breese Stevens Field. 

Syttende Mai Norwegian Heritage Festival | May 17 – 19
Come for the food, stay for the Viking Games. It’s three full days of parades, food, drinks, art, music, athletic competitions and kids’ activities. All centered around the Norwegian cultural traditions.  

Brat Fest | May 24 – 26
The World’s Largest Brat Fest happens in Madison. Over 36 years after its small parking lot start, the still-family-friendly Brat Fest features 100 free musical acts, fireworks, a carnival and of course, brats – with more than $2 million donated to local charities since 1983. 

Wisconsin Bourbon Derby Party | 2024 TBD
Don your finest haberdashery and prepare to cheer for the Kentucky Derby. Tickets include BBQ picnic bites, a mint julep in your own julep cup to take home, and a sample of Bellefontaine Reserve VII. There will be Derby trivia, a best dressed competition and loads of fun.

LunART Festival | 2024 TBD
LunART is an annual festival in Madison dedicated to promoting women’s creativity in the arts. Stay tuned for more information on the 2024 festival. 

June

Festa Italia | 2024 TBD
Hosted by the Italian Workmen's Club, this annual event in Fitchburg is a three-day celebration of family, food and Italian culture. 

International Festival | 2024 TBD
Join in the celebration of the rich cultural heritage and diversity of the Madison community. Taking place at the Overture Center, this event offers free performances, food from across the world, art available for purchase and more. 

Verona Hometown Days | 2024 TBD
When they call Verona, WI "Hometown, USA" they mean it! This festival is a family event full of music, carnival attractions, and kid's activities, and serves as a fundraiser for community non-profits. 

Ferraro Fest | 2024 TBD
A benefit to raise funds for The Road Home, Ferraro Fest features a disc golf tournament, live music by Evan & Tom Leahy, bounce house, great wine, food, treats and more.

Schumacher Farm Park Music Festival | 2024 TBD
Schumacher Farm Park's annual Music Festival Fundraiser invites guests to enjoy music performed by local bands on a large amplified outdoor stage. 

608 Day | 2024 TBD
Celebrate all the things we love about Madison and the 608 area with specials around town. Look for sweet deals on food, lodging, drinks and more. 

Mount Horeb Summer Frolic | 2024 TBD
Nothing says summer like a good frolic. Kick off your summer with a full weekend of entertainment, including a carnival, live music, the Norsk Run, basketball, volleyball, fireworks, a parade and more. 

New Glarus Polkafest | 2024 TBD
Step into Switzerland with a tribute to Roger Bright, a beloved figure in the polka world. Celebrate with live polka music, local beer and lively dancing. 

Beer, Bacon & Cheese Fest | 2024 TBD
Attention foodies and anyone else with a love for some of the greatest flavors known to man! The New Glarus Beer, Bacon & Cheese Fest is an afternoon of sampling some of the region’s most unforgettable flavors. 

Marquette Waterfront Festival | 2024 TBD
This annual festival features the iconic Fools Flotilla. Other activities include a mix of local talent and national touring favorites, kid's games, unique vendors and more. 

SummerPalooza | 2024 TBD
Summer comes screaming in with family fun at the Madison Children's Museum. Free admission to the museum, free performances outside and more are in store. 

Strawberry Fest | 2024 TBD
Strawberries invade the Fitchburg Farmers' Market! Grab a Culver’s Strawberry Sundae, enjoy live music and discover lots of strawberry themed offerings.

Taste of Stoughton | 2024 TBD
Local Stoughton restaurants offer up the best of their menus for this food festival. Of course, you can’t have local fare without local brews, ciders, wines and music. Taste of Stoughton has it all. 

Juneteenth Celebration | 2024 TBD
This historical celebration of Black American emancipation, history, and influence on American history and culture features a parade followed by a park celebration.  

Make Music Madison | 2024 TBD
Join us as Madison comes alive with sound. Free outdoor performances across the city are a wonderful way to welcome summer. 

Heidi Folk Festival | 2024 TBD
Experience the European flavor only New Glarus — lovingly-known as Little Switzerland — can offer. This weekend-long celebration is highlighted by local actors recreating the classic play Heidi. 

New Glarus Blues, Brews & Food Truck Festival | 2024 TBD
Jam with local musicians while you savor craft beers from New Glarus Brewing Company. A variety of delicious foods from local food carts make this free festival a summer essential. 

July

Festival Foods Lights the Isthmus | 2024 TBD
This one-of-a-kind Independence Day celebration will be held at Madison’s Breese Stevens Field with local bands, food, beverages & fireworks making this a must-see fest.  

Monona Community Festival | 2024 TBD
This festival takes place in one of Wisconsin's most beautiful community parks and features a craft fair, carnival, fireworks, live performances and the Wisconsin Wife Carry Championship. 

WaunaBoom | 2024 TBD
Celebrate Independence Day with live music, free fun family activities, food, and a large firework show. 

Stoughton Fair | 2024 TBD
From 4-H and bingo to a barn dance and a fish fry, the Stoughton Fair is sure to connect you to the local agricultural community in a fun, interactive way. 

Fitchburg Festival of Speed | 2024 TBD
Biking is fundamental to the Madison-area way of life. Come for the annual bike race and stay for the live music at Fitchburg's beautiful Agora Pavilion. 

Art Fair on the Square | 2024 TBD
With its mix of music, entertainment, and outdoor dining, as well as over 500 artists exhibiting paintings, prints, photographs, sculpture, jewelry, handmade clothing and accessories, and fine craft, this fair, returning for its 64th year, draws nearly 200,000 visitors to Madison’s Capitol Square. 

La Fête de Marquette | 2024 TBD
This iconic summer festival is free and features dozens of musical acts, fare from local restaurants and a movie under the stars. 

Maxwell Street Days | 2024 TBD
Maxwell Street Days has been a Madison tradition for over 40 years. The State Street sidewalk sale provides attendees with great bargains on clothes, art, sporting goods and more. 

Mount Horeb Art Fair | 2024 TBD
Mount Horeb’s Art Fair takes place on their Trollway (AKA their historic Main Street) and highlights fine artists & crafters from around the Midwest. 

Dane County Fair | 2024 TBD
Ah, the magic of the county fair. This one features a world-class carnival, free nightly concerts, great food, animals, youth projects and commercial exhibitors.  

Midwest Fire Fest | 2024 TBD
The hottest event in the Midwest. Midwest Fire Fest is a celebration of all things created with fire, heat and smoke including clay, metal arts, glass and more. There is an on-site firing and reveal of a giant clay sculpture, Community Iron Pour, Fire Dancers, Saturday Night’s Fire Feast and smoking hot music all weekend.

WaunaFest | 2024 TBD
Family fun abounds at this Waunakee community festival. Carnival rides, live music and daily family events are just a few of the fun things in store. 

Atwood Fest | 2024 TBD
One of Madison's hippest neighborhoods comes together for their favorite annual music festival. Food and craft vendors abound in an artistic, and delicious, weekend of fun. 

August

Sugar Maple Music Festival | August 4 – 5
This isn't your normal music festival. An outdoor celebration of traditional music and dance, the two-day festivities involve intimate educational workshops and jams.  

National Mustard Day | August 5
A funky festival dedicated to the king of condiments? You gotta be there. Bring the family to sample mustards from the enormous collection at the National Mustard Museum and enjoy live music. 

NGFD Firefest| August 5
It’s fun for the whole family during this New Glarus festival, which features firetruck rides, water fights, inflatable rides and fire safety information. 

Swiss Volksfest | August 6
Enjoy all things Swiss and celebrate Swiss Independence Day. Yodeling, thalerschwingen and alphorn music will teleport you to the rolling hills of Switzerland. 

Cambridge Rib Fest | August 11 – 13
Head to Cambridge for a BBQ competition and tasting, with categories like wings, ribs, Overall & People's Choice. 

Great Taste of the Midwest | August 12
One of America's premier beer festivals makes it home in Madison. More than 190 of the Midwest's craft brewers - — and 6,000 beer fanatics - — descend on Olin Park for a delicious dive into the world of beer.  

Curd Fest | August 13
Fried curds, fresh curds and more! Eats, drinks, and entertainment for the whole family! Celebrate at Breese Stevens Field for the 10th anniversary of curd fest. 

Whiskey, Wine and Cheese Fest | August 13
A wonderful afternoon of Whiskey, Wine, Cheese, Mead, apps and other food pairings! This event always promises to be a good time!

Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival | August 16 – 20
With over 80 tons of sweet corn in one place, plus family-friendly fun, this is Sun Prairie festival is one to add to your calendar. 

Africa Fest | August 19
Come celebrate and share in African traditions and cultural heritages. This festival provides opportunities for inclusiveness in the Madison area. 

Agora Art Fair | August 19
Surround yourself with art from over 100 local and regional artists from every medium, amid the unique architecture of the agora and the natural prairie landscape of southern Wisconsin. 

Eken Park Festival | August 19
Head to Madison's north side for a family-friendly festival that honors community. Diverse music creates a memorable soundtrack as you dine on local cuisine and beer. 

Coffee Break Festival | August 19
Back in 1880, Stoughton's Coffee Street had daily breaks for coffee. Today, the tradition lives on in this annual festival, held every third Saturday in August.

Seltzer & Cider Fest | August 19
Head to Breese Stevens Field for a taste of local and national seltzers, ciders, teas and kombuchas. Enjoy music, games and food with your sips. 

OutReach Magic Festival: A Pride Celebration | August 20
With an atmosphere of community, live entertainment and more, this Pride festival is one of a kind.  

Orton Park Festival | August 25 – 27
The east side's Orton Park Festival is one of the country's longest-running outdoor music festivals. Enjoy four days of great music, a wide array of vendors and spectacular aerial trapeze performances. 

Good Neighbor Festival | August 25 – 27
Middleton has come together to celebrate neighborly spirit for 59 years. Good music, good food and good neighbors – what more could you ask for? 

September

Taste of Madison | September 2 – 3
A free two-day event on Madison's beautiful Capitol Square over Labor Day weekend (Saturday and Sunday) with three stages of music, food from 80 vendors and fun for all ages. 

Wilhelm Tell Festival | September 2 – 3
The quaint downtown of New Glarus is your host for historic revitalization. Lederhosen will be plentiful as the community gathers for the story of Swiss Independence. 

Art in the Park | September 3
New Glarus Art in the Park is an annual fine arts and crafts event. Art in the Park takes place every labor day weekend on Sunday in beautiful downtown New Glarus.

Monroe Street Festival | September 9
Stop by Monroe Street to attend this popular, long-running neighborhood festival! Take part in children's activities, entertainment and sidewalk sales galore. 

Thirsty Troll Brew Fest | September 9
What's a summer festival without beer sampling? The Thirsty Troll Brew Fest is celebrating 20 years this year with a festival that will feature 30 craft brewers serving over 125 different beers. Don't forget to join the "masskrugstemmen" or steinholding competition! 

Wauktoberfest | September 14 – 17
Everyday there will be food, beer, music, inflatables, hammer sluggin, & pumpkin decorating!

Willy Street Fair | September 16 – 17
Join Madison's longest-running neighborhood gathering in the hip Willy Street neighborhood. Five stages of entertainment and 150 vendors will keep the good vibes flowing.  

Oktoberfest | September 21 – 24
New Glarus welcomes October with their own version of the traditional German Octoberfest. Wagon rides and chainsaw carving add unique local flair. 

Art of Cheese Festival | September 29 – October 1
From cheese ball to cheese crawl, this cheese festival has it all. Art of Cheese is an exclusive, artisan cheese festival created for the world’s biggest cheese lovers with events in and around the city.

Madison Vegan Fest | September 30
This annual festival’s mission is to bring people together to enjoy delicious vegan food, hear from speakers and explore ways to live more compassionately.  

Monona's Chili Cook-Off | September 30
Join Monona East Side Business Alliance (MESBA) for the time-honored tradition of Monona's 40th Chili Cook-Off. Find flavors ranging from mild to spicy, and dishes featuring bold new ingredients or recipes passed down many generations.

October

Verona Fall Fest | October 6
Join the Verona community for a celebration of all things autumn. 

Witches Night Out | October 12
Calling all witches and warlocks. People come from all over for Witches Night Out, where everyone dresses up like witches and warlocks and enjoys shopping, dining and spending time with friends. 

Cambridge Fall Fest | October 14
This Cambridge Farm to School fundraiser includes a 5K run, chili cook-off, Art Tent, face painting, pumpkin painting, FFA animals, a beer garden & more.

Wisconsin Science Festival | October 16 – 22
The Wisconsin Science Festival is a statewide celebration with activities for people throughout Wisconsin. Events include hands-on science exhibitions, demonstrations, performances, tours, pub nights, workshops and more. Check out their website for Madison-held events. 

Wisconsin Book Festival | October 19 – 22
Enjoy free, public author events that celebrate books and spark conversations. Each year, the festival creates a robust schedule of accomplished and new writers whose books appeal to all ages of readers. 

November

Madison Hmong New Year | November 4 – 5
Come celebrate the rich festivities of the Hmong culture by remember ancestors, sacrifices, and accomplishments and preserving traditions in honor of the upcoming new year. 

Flannel Fest | November 11 
All the fall feels in one spot. Music, food and, of course, flannels mark this annual festival.

Winter Art Fair Off the Square | November 11 – 12
The companion of the annual summer Art Fair on the Square features over 135 local Wisconsin artists with selections of pottery, paintings, photography, and more!

Holiday Fantasy in Lights | November 11 – January 6
Drive through Olin Park for one of Madison's favorite holiday traditions! The light show is free and open with the lights shining from dawn til dusk through the holiday season.

Black Friday Madison Maker's Market | November 24
Shop local this holiday season! Visit multiple locations in Madison to shop over 80 local and regional vendors.

December

Holiday Fantasy in Lights | November 11 – January 6
Drive through Olin Park for one of Madison's favorite holiday traditions! The light show is free and open with the lights shining from dawn til dusk through the holiday season.

New Glarus Christkindli Market | December 1 – 3
Transport yourself to the winter wonderland that is Little Switzerland with the Christkindli Market. With locally sourced gifts, holiday decorations, and warm food, there’s a little something for everyone. Who knows, you just might see St. Nick himself make an appearance. 

Madison Fair Trade Holiday Festival | December 2
Looking for unique, socially responsible, handmade gifts this year? If so, you can enjoy the fun and festive atmosphere of the 27th Annual Fair Trade Holiday Festival at the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center!

Hometown Holidays Express | December 6 – 7
Guests board a festive Trolley at the Verona Ice Arena for a merry 15 minute ride to Seven Acre Dairy Co. where they will enjoy a visit and photo with Santa, cookies, stories by the fire with Mrs. Claus and an outdoor Holiday Light Trail featuring a magical tree. 

Christkindl Market at Seven Acre Dairy Co. | December 8 – 10
With hand-selected vendors, this event will bring together top makers, artists, and small businesses alike for a highly curated event experience and holiday shopping experience! Guests will feel like they’ve stepped inside a curated Wisconsin winter lodge fit with beautiful gifts to ease their holiday shopping needs. 

Starkweather Winter Solstice Celebration | December 21
Join the Friends of Starkweather Creek for the 22nd annual winter solstice celebration! Bring your thoughts to forget and wishes to ascend from the fire ash during this gathering of community, nature, humanity, and life on earth on the shortest day of the year.

January 

Wisconsin Fest 2024 | January 5, 6, 12, 13 & 27
Wisconsin Fest gives the opportunity to showcase our state's diverse musical artistry. Enjoy eight unique genres over five nights across three of Madison's venues.

Punk Fest at High Noon Saloon | January 5
Blues Fest at Majestic Theatre | January 5
Metal Fest at High Noon Saloon | January 6 
Funk Fest at Majestic Theatre | January 6 
Jazz Fest at Majestic Theatre | January 12
Pop Fest at Majestic Theatre | January 13
Bluegrass Fest with Horseshoes & Hand Grenades at The Sylvee | January 13
Hip Hop Fest at High Noon Saloon | January 27

N/A Day: A "Dry January" Beverage Festival | January 13
N/A Day will be making it's debut in Madison in 2024 at The Bur Oak. Purchase tickets for the opportunity to enjoy unlimited samples of more than 50 products in the wide-ranging, ever-evolving and rapidly-growing non-alcoholic drink market. 

Beer & Cheese Fest | January 20
A popular, often sold-out event, Beer & Cheese Fest is a can’t-miss. Warm up in the heart of winter with samples of hundreds of delicious cheeses and beers while you mingle with brewers and cheesemakers from across the state.  

Wisconsin Grown Up Book Fair | January 20 – 21
The 3rd annual adult book fair is back! Stop by The Sylvee as it is transformed into one of the fondest places from your childhood, the book fair. Enjoy food, beverages and other on-site activations. Saturday sessions are grown-ups only (18+) and Sunday sessions are family friendly.

Fun Prairie Frozen Fest | January 26 – February 2
Join in the annual celebration of all things snowy and cold in Sun Prairie. Mark your calendars for eight days of frozen fun, ending with the 76th annual Groundhog Day Prognostication on February 2. 

Whether you make it to one event all summer or attend one every weekend, Madison festivals are a great way to get outside and make new memories. Head to our events calendar for more Madison experiences

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