This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Friday, May 20
Every weekend seems to bring a new round of community festivities to Madison and surrounding areas, once summer rolls around. The latest is Fitchburg Days, a three-day celebration of Irish heritage, complete with performances by the Trinity Irish Dancers and the Celtic rock of Green Tea. The festival also features a carnival, children's activities, a live music tent, a food tent, fireworks, and more. McKee Farms Park, 2930 Chapel Valley Rd., Fitchburg, 5 p.m.-midnight Friday, 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday, $5 music tent cover. Call 220-6870 for more info.
Saturday, May 21
Sassy Cow Creamery, the Columbus, Wisconsin, dairy that's brought fresh, local milk to many area tables, invites everyone to its farm to tour the creamery during its Farm Adventure Weekend. What's to do? Coloring, mooing and ice cream-eating contests, the debut of a new ice cream, pedal tractor and hayrides, the chance to be a Farmer for a Day, have your photo taken with a baby calf and more. Sassy Cow Creamery, W4192 Bristol Rd., Columbus, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., free. Call 445-2010 for more info.
Sunday, May 22
Support your favorite community radio station at the 14th annual WORT Block Party. There will be bands and kids' activities, but for our purposes here there will be global street food and a beer garden featuring Wisco suds. Micro-brews. "No Crap on Tap," in a word, all organized by the Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild. Prosit. 600 block of W. Doty St., 11 a.m.-7 p.m., free. Call 256-2001 for more info.
Can you imagine a day without herbs? Pretty boring. But fortunately, what we have here instead is Herb Day at Olbrich Botatnical Gardens. The Madison Herbal Institute will be putting together exhibits, demonstrations, classes, and garden walks. Olbrich Gardens, 3330 Atwood Ave., 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., free. Call 512-9633 for more info.
More events this week
Tuesday, May 17
Agoston Haraszthy Wine Tasting Cellar opening, starting with a private "cork popping" ceremony hosted by Wollersheim Winery owner and vintner Philippe Coquard, and followed by a wine service in the space behind the iron gates. Quivey's Grove, 6261 Nesbitt Rd., 5 p.m., free. Call 273-4900 for more info.
Wednesday, May 18
Southwest Madison Farmers' Market, now in its third year of operation, commencing for the 2011 growing season. Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ, 1501 Gilbert Rd., 3-7 p.m. Call 358-5834 for more info.
Six Spices with Neeta Saluja cooking class, with the chef preparing a menu of red lentils, curried coconut and peas, vegetable pullav, and coconut slice. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., 6-8 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 284-7800 for more info.
How to Turn Your Vegetable Garden into a Vegetable Farm class, with with instructors Megan Cain and Claire Strader of Madison FarmWorks at Troy Community Farm covering intermediate and advanced gardening skills, including design and layout, planting schedules, crop rotation, cover cropping, and succession planting. Willy Street Co-op East, 1221 Williamson St., 6-8:30 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 251-6776 for more info.
Thursday, May 19
OutReach Garden Party, a fundraiser the LGBT OutReach community center, featuring hors d'oeuvres, sandwiches, pizza, beverages, and live music. Wartman Chandler Appraisal, 7356 W. Caledonia Rd., Edgerton, 5:30 p.m., donations requested. Call 255-8582 for more info.
Friday, May 20
Rally 'Round the Flag, a three-day history festival commemorating the Civil War sesquicentennial, featuring an encampment, re-enactments, cemetery "talking spirits," lectures, walking tours, a military ball, fireworks and artillery volleys, food vendors, a farmers' market, pancake breakfast, and "Supper with the Troops" and "An Evening with the Lincolns." Lake Leota Park, Leonard Park Dr., Evansville, 3-10 p.m. Friday, 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, free with supper tickets of $10 adults and $5 children 11 and under. Call 608-882-5528 for more info.
Saturday, May 21
Bark & Wine, an annual fundraiser for the Dane County Humane Society, featuring hors d'oeuvres from Liliana's, wine from Eno Vino, beer from the Great Dane, as well as a raffle, silent and live auctions, and live music. Dane County Humane Society, 5132 Voges Rd., 7-10 p.m., $50. Call 838-0413 for more info.
Vintage Fashion Show & Tea, a fundraiser for the restoration of District #1 Schoolhouse and sponsored by the Mount Horeb Landmarks Foundation and the Vibe Vintage store, featuring a runway highlighting fashion trends up through the 1980s and high tea service with sandwiches, scones, and desserts. District #1 Schoolhouse, 110 North Second St., Mount Horeb, 11 a.m., $20. Call 576-5837 for more info.
Sunday, May 22
REAP snack prep, with volunteers needed to prepare and package fresh, healthy, and locally-grown treats for kids at 14 elementary schools around Madison. RP's Pasta, 1133 E. Wilson St., 9 a.m.-noon. Call 310-7836 for more info.
Fiesta Hispana, an annual celebration hosted by Centro Hipsano of Dane County and in conjuction with Fitchburg Days, featuring food vendors, carnival rides, and live music. McKee Farms Park, 2930 Chapel Valley Rd., Fitchburg, noon-6 p.m. Call 255-3018 for more info.
Spring Scramble, a fundraiser for the Madison Children's Museum, featuring a barbecue buffet dinner and live auction. Bishops Bay Country Club, 3500 Bishops Dr., Middleton, 5:30 p.m., $40. Call 354-0536 for more info.
Monday, May 23
Vegetable Fermentation class, with instructor Mike Bieser covering the basics of lacto-fermenting veggies and their place in a daily diet. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., 6-8 p.m., $2o owners and $30 all others. Call 284-7800 for more info.
Save the date
Saturday, June 11
Ride to Farm, an eighth annual bicycle ride and fundraiser for the Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers, with participants riding a 56-mile two-stage tour around southern Dane and northern Green counties, and stopping for visits at the grass-based Tom Grady and Tim Pauli dairy farms near Oregon and Belleville, respectively, and lunch in New Glarus. Goodland County Park, Shelter #2, 2862 Waubesa Ave., Town of Dunn, 8 a.m.-end, $50 in pledges with registration in advance. Call 265-6437 for more info.