This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach.
Thursday, July 12
What if Madison's food carts didn't just huddle on the Capitol Square and the Library Mall? What if they took advantage of their mobility and decided to park together in a certain neighborhood for a night, and then everybody in that neighborhood, or anybody else, really, went to that place and ate dinner and had a chat with their tablemates? Well it's happening, Madison. Mayor Paul Soglin's wish to have a neighborhood-building event in Meadowood centered around food carts has been fulfilled with the debut of Madison Meet & Eat. This first in a series of neighborhood food cart gatherings around the city will feature nearly a dozen vendors, including Banzo, Caracas Empanadas, Electric Earth, Ernie's Kettle Corn, FIBs, Hibachi Hut, Luangprabang, Natural Juice, Tea Garden, Teriyaki Samurai, and Wei's Food to Go. More Meet & Eat gatherings in this location will follow on July 19, July 26, and August 2. Oh, what a wonderful wonderful world. Meadowood Shopping Center, 5800 Raymond Rd., 5:30-7:30 p.m. Call 266-4611 for more info.
Madison celebrates Bastille Day with La Fête de Marquette, a jovial mélange of Cajun and French-influenced world music overlooking a very, very dry courtyard located in the heart of the city's industrial near-east side. Food, however, is what concerns us when it comes to this seventh annual festival. Its four days of fun opens with Willy Street Co-op Annual Meeting and Party -- if you belong, as in you are an owner-member, this is for you, with a free dinner, live music, appearances by Chad Vader and Truly Remarkable Loon, and more. (The Co-op Driveway will probably be rifling through your panniers while you're enjoying the festivities, so guard your valuables.) The festival also plays host to numerous food vendors, including Buraka, Lao Laan-Xang, The Smokin' Cantina, Double S BBQ (Texas style, with a hint of Louisiana), and Jamerica, to name a few. Then, the final day of La Fête serves the Acoustic Café Breakfast, with a menu of quiche and live music. Joyeux Quatorze Juillet! à La Rue Dickinson, corner of E. Washington Ave. and S. Dickinson St., 4:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Thursday, 5-11 p.m. Friday, 12:30 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday, free admission. Call 257-4576 for more info.
Sunday, July 15
Did you even know that Middleton has a chapter in the Experimental Aircraft Association? It does! And it's hosting the Fly-In/Drive-In Pancake Breakfast to raise funds for aviation-based youth programs at Morey Field. There will be airplanes to look at and, we hear, the pancakes are lighter than air. You can fill up more with eggs, sausage, and cinnamon rolls, and then check out displays of vintage and home-built aircraft. Middleton Municipal Airport/Morey Field (C29), 8300 Airport Rd., 43-06-50.2071N/089-31-59.7584W, 7:30 a.m.-noon, $7 adults and $3 kids 12 and under. Call 437-1974 for more info.
It's important for kids (and grown-ups) to understand that food doesn't just come from supermarkets. Food comes from farms, and the Day on the Farm celebrates that fact. This summertime picnic, hosted by the REAP Food Group as a fundraiser for its Buy Fresh Buy Local program, will be held at Crossroads Community Farm in Cross Plains, which opens its fields for tours of its organic CSA operation. The day will include a picnic-style lunch prepared by chefs Andrew Wilson of the Madison Club, Patrick DePula of Salvatore's Tomato Pies, and Curtis Mitchell of Fit Fresh Cuisine, along with farm tours, children's activities, and talks about sustainable farming in southern Wisconsin. Crossroads Community Farm, 4144 County Rd. J, Cross Plains, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., $20 and $12 kids under 12. Call 310-7836 for more info.
More events this week
Tuesday, July 10
Sauk County Fair, an annual six-day community festival, featuring sandwich days, food vendors, a carnival, tractor pulls and demolition derbies, live music, children's activities, and more. Sauk County Fairgrounds, 700 E. Lincoln Ave., Baraboo, 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Wednesday, 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Thursday, 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday, 8:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, daily grandstand and carnival admission fees. See Facebook, and call 608-356-8707 for more info.
The Urban Gardener Part III: Growing Organic Tomatoes Successfully class, with instructors at Troy Community Farm covering pruning, trellising, and regional varieites. Troy Gardens, 502 Troy Dr., 6-8 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 251-6776 for more info.
City Chickens 101 class, with instructor Alicia Rheal of Mad City Chickens covering the basics of raising urban chickens, including shelter, feeding, behavior, regulations, and the types of poultry available. Willy Street Co-op West, 6825 University Ave., 6-8 p.m., $15 owners and $25 all others. Call 284-7800 for more info.
Wednesday, July 11
Jefferson County Fair, an annual five-day community festival, featuring food vendors, a carnival, truck and tractor pulls, a demolition derby, bingo, karaoke, live music, children's activities, and more.Jefferson County Fair Park, 503 N. Jackson Ave., Jefferson, 8 a.m.-close Wednesday-Sunday, $9 admission per day. See Facebook, and call 920-674-7148 for more info.
Victory Gardening, a session for kids to learn about the origins of the Victory Garden and its contemporary meaning. Madison Children's Museum, 100 N. Hamilton St., 1:30 p.m., free with $8 admission. Call 256-6445 for more info.
Seasonsal Chefs, a culinary demonstration series, with Chef Steven Buchholz of Crema Cafe discussing how to handle produce and prepare salads. Monona Library, 1000 Nichols Rd., 6 p.m., free. Please RSVP, and call 222-6127 for more info.
Thursday, July 12
Wisconsin Celebrates 30 Years of Gay Civil Rights, a gathering marking the anniversary of a landmark state gay rights law and benefit in support of OutReach, featuring a summer picnic and keynote speech by former U.S. Rep. David Clarenbach. Quivey's Grove, 6261 Nesbitt Rd., 5:30 p.m., $40 donation and free 12 and under. Register online, and call 255-8582 for more info.
Summertime Slow Cooker Recipes class, with instructor Jennifer Jones covering how to plan and prepare slow-cooked meals appropriate for hot weather. Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 6-7:30 p.m., $25. Call 233-9566 for more info.
Friday, July 13
AlbertFest, an annual three-day parish festival put on by St. Albert the Great Catholic Church, featuring a chicken and ham dinner, food vendors, a 5K run/walk, bingo, a raffle, live music, children's activities, and more. St. Albert the Great Catholic Church, 2420 St. Albert Dr., Sun Prairie, 5-9 p.m. Friday, 8:30 a.m.-midnight Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Call 837-3798 for more info.
Stand Up for Kids, an annual fundraiser for Dane County CASA that features a performance by the Second City Improv All Stars, a dessert buffet, and silent auction. Majestic Theatre, 115 King St., 7p.m., $25. Call 358-4448 for more info.
Saturday, July 14
Art Fair on the Square, the 54th annual outdoor arts festival around Capitol Square, and Art Fair Off the Square, the 33rd annual outdoor arts and crafts festival along Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., each featuring food vendors, art displays and vendors, live music, and more. Downtown Madison, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. See Facebook and call 257-0158 for the fair on the Square, and call 204-9129 for the fair off the Square.
Hmong Summer Harvest Weekend, with gardener-in-residence Choua Lee discussing the rooftop Hmong Garden. Madison Children's Museum, 100 N. Hamilton St., noon-3 p.m., free with $8 admission. Call 256-6445 for more info.
Screening of Food Stamped, a 2010 documentary by Shira and Yoav Potash that follows the couple "as they attempt to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet on a food stamp budget." Goodman South Madison Library, Villager Mall, 2222 S. Park St., 2 p.m., free. Call 266-6395 for more info.
Sunday, July 15
Summer Picnic in the Courtyard, a celebration of the Madison Senior Center and its volunteers, featuring a menu of barbecue ribs on the bone, coleslaw, potato salad and ambrosia salad, corn muffins, and peach cobbler, along with bingo and live music. Madison Senior Center, 330 W. Mifflin St., noon, $3.50. Please RSVP by July 11, and call 251-8405 for more info.
Herb Garden Stroll, a tour at Olbrich Botanical Gardens hosted by the Madison Herb Society, featuring discussion about the cultivation and use of herbs. Olbrich Gardens, 3330 Atwood Ave., 1-4 p.m., free. Call 246-4550 for more info.
Dehydrating Fruits, Veggies & Herbs class on a preservation method for produce, one in a series organized by the FairShare CSA Coalition, with instructors covering multiple methods for dehydration and uses for these preserved foods. Willy Street Co-op East, 1221 Williamson St., 4:30-6:30 p.m., $15. Call 226-0300 for more info.
How to Can and Freeze Foods, a workshop at Schumacher Farm Park, with heirloom gardener Mary Collet covering freezing and canning with waterbath and pressure cooker methods, along with techniques for preparing jams and jellies. Schumacher Farm Park, 5682 Hwy. 19, Waunakee, 3-4 p.m., free. Call 849-4559 for more info.
Monday, July 16
Youth Cooking School: Healthy Summer Snacks, for kids ages 6-12, with instructors preparing a menu of pumpkin muffins, granola, and berries n' banana smoothies. Whole Foods Market, 3313 University Ave., 4:30-6 p.m., $10. Call 233-9566 for more info.