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Thursday, December 25, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 41.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Paper
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Summer rituals

It's been a contentious, difficult spring. Contentious, of course, because the season was delivered to us by hordes of the disaffected protesting the state budget; difficult because the weather, until recently, has not delivered the mild respite promised by the calendar. But now that we have finally come to the blooming, bursting vitality that we expect of the season, it is almost time to move on. To wit, summer approaches.

Next Monday is Memorial Day, the unofficial first summer holiday, though the calendar clicks over on June 21; and as we always do this week on the year, Isthmus presents SummerTimes, our guide to the summer's happenings, here in Madison and throughout the state.

The calendars are extensive. Arts and entertainment editor Kenneth Burns helps you out by highlighting some of the stars of yesterday appearing this summer at a county fair near you. (At least, in Wisconsin.) Supplements editor Linda Falkenstein, the person mainly responsible for assembling the content in SummerTimes, contributes "Unlocking the Summer Rental," a primer on what you may unexpectedly find when you arrive at that vacation getaway that looked so inviting on the Internet or in the brochure.

Sari Judge, the dedicated blogger of our IsthmusParents website, sticks with the family fare, recommending a list of family reunion venue possibilities in the Madison area. Contributor Emily Mills locates some l ocal, unique parks that you may have overlooked in your quest for convenient escape. Staff writer David Medaris shows you two-wheel adventurers the most convenient, safest routes out of town.

Yes, you will find many ads in this supplement, and you should pay attention to them. For not only do they support this free resource coming your way, they also contain a lot of useful information.

Not in the supplement, but online, check out Jason Joyce's pictorial update on the upgrades at Warner Park's Duck Pond, home to Madison Mallards, at The Quackers' home season in their splendiferous, like-new digs commences Tuesday, June 7, against the Wisconsin Woodchucks.

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