5 events to get excited about this July

Take your pick of one of these top-notch events

Art Fair on the Square
Few details about Art Fair on the Square are overlooked by Madison Museum of Contemporary Art officials after 61 years of organizing the event on Capitol Square. The 2019 edition is no exception. At this year’s Art Fair on the Square — MMoCA’s largest fundraiser — there will be new art to see and buy, as one-quarter to one-third of the more than 500 artists will display wares for the first time at the fair. Erika Monroe-Kane, MMoCA’s communications director, also is pleased with the inclusion of kid-friendly activities. “Families love to stop at the kids’ area, where they can get out of the sunshine and find some shade,” Monroe-Kane says of the spot on the King Street side of the square. “Children are excited to get their hands on something, keep their hands busy and have a chance to create.” July 13-14

Robert Randolph and the Family Band5 events to get excited about this July

New Jersey native Robert Randolph brings his 13-string lap pedal steel guitar and funk-blues outfit to Fête de Marquette for a headlining concert on the final evening of the neighborhood festival at McPike Park on Madison’s east side. The pedal steel guitar gets its “sacred steel” moniker due to the instrument’s influence in African American Pentecostal churches in the 1930s. Randolph, named one of Rolling Stone’s top 100 guitarists in 2010, is touring to support the new album “Brighter Days,” which will be released Aug. 23. The band has been nominated for multiple Grammy Awards and is known for its tendency to jam as well as its powerful, entertaining live performances. July 14

Here Come The Mummies, Live on King Street5 events to get excited about this July

Music lovers have gathered at the 100 block of King Street since 2011 for free summer outdoor concerts that highlight an eclectic mix of touring acts and musicians. The Nashville-based funk-rock group Here Come The Mummies will be outfitted in mummy costumes as the band plays the outdoor stage within sight of the Capitol. According to Here Come The Mummies’ website, the group’s eight members are 5,000 years old and also may be “reincarnated Grammy-winning studio musicians.” The band’s lead singer and guitarist is Mummy Cass (a reference to Mama Cass of The Mamas and the Papas). July 19

Opera in the Park5 events to get excited about this July

Madison Opera general director Kathryn Smith relishes the chance to coordinate Opera in the Park. “In the last five years, our audience has heard selections from 63 different operas, operettas, zarzuelas and musicals — and it is that varied programming every year that keeps the Opera in the Park fresh,” Smith says of the now 18-year-old series held at Garner Park. Music director John DeMain lifts his baton to lead the Madison Symphony Orchestra and Madison Opera Chorus. Early risers can claim a spot at 7 a.m. for the concert that starts at 8 p.m. The popular summer performance welcomed an event-high 15,000 spectators in 2015, and 8,000 concertgoers refused to budge last year despite a brief rain shower. July 20

Concerts on the Square5 events to get excited about this July

Andrew Sewell will be especially busy in July with five Wednesday night performances at Concerts on the Square. The music director for the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra says he’s particularly looking forward to the July 24 program with Jeans ‘n Classics, a Canadian group that performs classic rock and pop arrangements with orchestras around the world. Sewell says the band proposed teaming up again to play songs from “Abbey Road,” the Beatles album released 50 years ago in September 1969. Concerts on the Square — held Wednesdays from June 26 to July 31 — is in its 36th year. This will be Sewell’s 20th season overseeing the summer series. July 24