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Wednesday, August 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 76.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Paper
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Tilt-A-Whirl world

We are definitely set to hear the last hurrahs of summer, and there's plenty to cheer about in the next two weeks. Here are a couple of activities to consider.

Coming your way immediately, if not sooner, is the last Isthmus Block Party of the season. Like the June and July fiestas, this one is sponsored by Wisconsin Distributors and Goose Island Beer. And, like the other two, a portion of the proceeds from concessions will go to Porchlight.

As is traditionally done at the August party, we will be celebrating Madison's Favorites, your picks at the polls last June when we ran the ballot by you in the paper and at We will preview the picks, to be revealed in detail in the Annual Manual, the 30th edition of which will accompany next week's paper.

The festivities will be held on the 100 block of East Main Street on Friday, Aug. 20, from 5 to 11 p.m. In addition to beer, food, games and prizes, the popular local band Mighty Short Bus will provide the live music. Be there or be sadly not with it.

Next weekend, Aug. 27-29, Middleton's Good Neighbor Festival beckons. Not coincidentally, this week's cover story, "My Life as a Carny," gives the background story of one of the features of that event, the Wenzel Amazements traveling carnival. The story is written by longtime (if not long time ago) contributor Nathan Comp. Comp, writer, editor and former Madisonian, decamped these environs for Philadelphia back in the summer of 2008. We thought that was a last goodbye. But happily it is not. And after having written about a litany of Madison's social problems in his previous tour of duty, he now gives us a glimpse of a different culture that's passing through the area.

The carnival is, by Comp's description, its own little world, constantly on the move.

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