23 events to keep you busy all September

A new month means new event listings, and there is no shortage of fun activities to try in September.
Sailboats surround Lake Mendota as the sun sets.
Photo by Gaby Vinick
Take an art class or listen to live music played at the Memorial Union Terrace.

This September, enjoy the nice weather and try some new fall activities — live music, paint class, festivals and more. 

WheelHouse at the East Side Club
The Madison-based bluegrass band WheelHouse is heading to East Side Club for a fun performance. The band is touring around the country but is known for its midwestern roots, playing three and four part harmonies, fiddle and guitar leads. $7, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Sept. 2, 3735 Monona Drive

Dance Party with DJ Nick Nice
Fun music, dancing and a view of the sunset at the Memorial Union Terrace — it’s all you really need. DJ Nick Nice is playing for the WUD Music kickoff. Try some cheese curds and jam out with family and friends. Free, 7-10 p.m., Sept. 2, Memorial Union Terrace

Party in the Park
The summer is coming to an end, but there is still time for fun. WSUM is hosting a free “Party in the Park” event to bid its final goodbye. Students are excited to connect with community members from all over Madison as local and regional musical acts are celebrated. Some featured acts include UW–Madison student-led organizations along with Friko, Deryk G., Gentle Brontosaurus and Silk Stranger. Free, 2-6 p.m., Sept. 3, James Madison Park

Family Bike Camping
Families, kids and individuals are all welcome to get some experience bike camping on a ride from The Cargo Bike Shop to Lake Farm County Park. The mostly flat terrain is about 7 miles long, with access at the main campsite to a campfire ring, a playground and Lake Waubesa. A grill, campfire wood, gear shuttle, showers and toilets will be provided, along with some coffee and pastries from Batch Bakehouse on Sunday morning. Don’t forget to bring a tent! $45, Sept. 4-5, Lake Farm County Park Group Campsite

Taste of Madison
After a year-long hiatus, the Taste of Madison event has returned so you can taste everything Madison’s food scene has to offer. Some participating businesses include Buraka, Pancho’s Tacos, Surco, Mirch Masala, Taqueria Sabor Queretano, Teriyaki Samurai, Just Bakery, Justveggiez, Curd Girl and Jakarta Cafe. Support local restaurant owners and purchase tickets now —  proceeds will be donated to local charities. While this event has previously taken place off the square, it will now be held at Breese Stevens Field. 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 2-5 p.m., 6-9 p.m., Sept. 4-5, Breese Stevens Field

Film Screening: “The Princess Bride”
Take it back to 1987 — the year “The Princess Bride” was released. This romantic comedy/family/adventure movie based on the William Goldman novel is a classic must-see. The Wisconsin Union Directorate will show two screenings of the film at the Marquee in Union South. Free, 6:30-8:30 p.m. or 9-11 p.m., Sept. 5

The Terrace Paintacular
It’s never too late to work on your artistry. Take some time to escape into the art world, beginner or expert. Wheelhouse Art Studios will provide all materials including a canvas, paint and instruction to all on a first-come, first-served basis for its free “Terrace Paintacular” event. You can follow along, meet others and and create your own art to take home. 3 p.m., Sept. 6, Memorial Union Terrace

Intro to Blacksmithing Class
Cold weather is approaching, but in a blacksmithing workshop at Wade House, the heat will warm you up. Try the introductory blacksmithing class, where you can make tongs, a triangle ringer and a fireplace poker. Skilled artisans will lead the way. $195, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sept. 11, Wade House, W7965 WI-23, Greenbush

Michelle Wolf
Comedian Michelle Wolf is making her way to Madison this weekend for a Comedy Club performance. In addition to debuting her own Netflix special, she has also been an on-air contributor and writer for “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” and a writing supervisor and performer on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” $40 general admission, Sept. 3-4, Comedy on State

Happy Hour Jazz with Five Points Jazz Collective
Your experience at Leopold’s Books Bar Caffè is what you make it — read a book, drink some coffee, or explore the collection of books organized by country. Catch up with friends at happy hour and enjoy some free, live music by the band The Five Points Jazz Collective. Try the favorite “20th century” cocktail, a mix of gin, lillet, lemon and white creme de cocoa. Free, 6-8 p.m., Sept. 7, 1301 Regent St.

Badger Fest
Savoring the summer or looking to speed ahead to fall fashion? Find giveaways and sample new products from both local and national vendors on Sept. 8 at Badger Fest. Free, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Sept. 8, Union South

Arun Luthra’s Konnakol Jazz Project
Just when you’re looking for some revival of energy, there is great live music all over town that can help. Listen to a whole ensemble of artists play at the Wisconsin Union Theater as part of Arun Luthra’s Konnakol Jazz Project. Luthra, the fall 2021 interdisciplinary artist-in-residence at UW–Madison, is a highly regarded saxophonist, composer and konnakol artist. He fuses South Indian classical music vocal percussion and Black American music. A whole ensemble of artists playing saxophone, piano, bass, drums and Carnatic percussion are also featured. Ticket prices vary, 7:30 p.m., Sept. 10, Wisconsin Union Theater

Kids Building Wisconsin
Kids can fix it — or so they’ll learn at McKee Farms Park in Fitchburg. The Kids Building Wisconsin event is free and open to all families, featuring more than 40 exhibits for children to have some fun and learn about construction work. Kids can take some green screen family photos, build a brick wall, play with the duck waterslide or paint. Free, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Sept. 11, McKee Farms Park

14th Annual New Glarus Family Fest & Car Show
What started in 2007 as a way to give back to the community is now an annual event everyone can celebrate — the New Glarus Family Fest & Car Show. Head to Village Park for some family fun, a whole day full of music, food, carnival rides and a car show. Free, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Sept. 12, Village Park, 300 Railroad Street, New Glarus

Madison Night Market
No need to worry if you missed the first Madison Night Market. There are four others taking place on the third Thursday of each month through December. The Market is downtown, where the bustling night scene is filled with live music, artists and food carts ready to deliver Madison’s best. Check out any one of the handmade products, local artists, artisan gifts, fresh produce and prepackaged foods available for purchase. Free, 4-9 p.m., Sept. 16, State St. and Gilman St.

Wisconsin’s Best Bloody Mary Festival
On the search for the best bloody mary in town? Judge for yourself at the Wisconsin Best Bloody Mary Festival. Sample local offerings while grooving to music by the DJ and checking out local food carts, which will be around all day. Premium ticket buyers and judges are granted entry at 10 a.m., with music and food throughout the day.  Early registration for this event is on Friday, Sept. 17. $20-$80, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sept. 18, Yahara Bay Distillers Inc.

I Love the ’90s Bash Bar Crawl
You might want to dig through your closet for some nostalgic, old fashion finds. Get ready for the ’90s Bash Bar Crawl. With music and drink specials of up to 40% off from bars including Whiskey Jacks Saloon and Red Rock Saloon, you’ll want to bring all the mood rings, bandannas and fanny packs for this throwback event. If your birthday is the week of the event date you are eligible to receive a free ticket and discounts for friends. $10-$20, 3-10 p.m., Sept. 18, State St. Area Bars

Fall Beer Fest
Beers, ales and ciders, oh my! Get ready for the Fall Beer Fest, which is making a comeback this month. Register at the Bank of Sun Prairie (228 E. Main St.), where you will receive a sampling glass, wristband and event map. More than 25 Sun Prairie businesses will be offering 3-ounce samples of two flavors of a fall beer, ale or cider to try. 21+ only, $10-$30, 1-4 p.m., Sept. 18, Downtown Sun Prairie

Donut Fest Madison
We found an event that you donut want to miss. A VIP ticket to the Donut Fest earns you early entry to sample donuts and get two raffle tickets, in addition to other amenities. Vote for the best doughnut. Between 8-10 samples will be offered, but don’t let the sugar high get the best of you! Take it slow and pace yourself, organizers say. Prices vary, 1-5 p.m., Sept. 19, Location TBA

Madison Restaurant Week
This semi-annual event is the perfect opportunity to sample some of Madison’s local offerings. Starting at $25, participating restaurants offer a prix-fixe menu with three courses. Some restaurants will offer a lunch menu for $15. Sept. 19-24, various locations

Open Mic/Open Jam at The Bur Oak
Life is about taking risks, right? Sign up for Open Mic at The Bur Oak, which takes place every Wednesday night. This is a free, three-hour event for all to see “anyone with something to share.” Solo artists or groups can sign-up at 6 p.m. and performances start at 7 p.m. Free, every Wednesday (including Sept. 22), The Bur Oak

Art Fair on the Square
Take a walk around the capitol and head to the square for the return of the art fair! Sponsored by the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, this highly anticipated event — which typically sees around 200,000 visitors – was originally scheduled for July but was tentatively delayed to late September, pending public health conditions. Hundreds of artists will showcase their work — paintings, prints, photographs, sculpture, jewelry, handmade clothing and more. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sept. 25, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sept. 26, Capitol Square

World Dairy Expo
Madison’s reputation as the premier dairy state remains strong, even at the international level. The world dairy expo is taking place from Sept. 28-Oct. 2, when hundreds of companies will gather at the Alliant Energy Center. See the dairy cattle, exhibits and place your bet on who will become the World Dairy Expo Supreme Champion. While you’re there, chat with some of the herd owners, join a free education seminar on dairy management and learn from producers. Free, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 28-Oct. 2, Alliant Energy Center

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