Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #60: BratFest

The World's Largest Bratfest is this weekend, May 23rd thru May 26th, at Willow Island on the Coliseum grounds.

Bratfest is a community event, with proceeds going to local groups and charities that staff it.

78 local charities have participated over the years, with $674,367 raised since 1983 for participating charities.

Bratfest gets under way with "take your brat to work day" this Thursday from 6-9am in the NBC15 parking lot. Yes, I know -- only in Wisconsin are bratwursts considered a breakfast food. Seriously--it goes great with scrambled eggs!
ETA: More than 12,000 brats were sold this morning in three hours, for a whopping $19,000 raised for charity. Not a bad beginning at all!

A whopping 157,665 Johnsonville Brats were consumed at the 2007 Bratfest.

2,076,660 (or 223 tons) of brats have been sold during the event since 1983. They also offer hotdogs and boca brats, which are not included in the official tally.

The current record for number of brats sold was set Memorial Day Weekend May 2004 when 189,432 brats were consumed over the four day event.

Bratfest began in 1983 in the Hilldale Mall parking lot, the brainchild of local businessman Tom Metcalfe. In 2005 the event moved to Willow Island, having grown too big to be held in the mall parking lot. Metcalfe's sons Tim and Kevin now continue the tradition.

The event features a number of celebrity cashiers, including First Lady Jessica Doyle, Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, City of Madison Fire Chief Debra Amesqua, Senator Fred Risser, Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin.

The event features two entertainment stages featuring 80 hours of music and a variety of local talent, including Clear Blue Betty, Harmonious Wail, Od Tapo Imi, and The Madison Scouts.

Other special events include appearances by the Johnsonville Big Taste Touring Grill (65 feet long!), Oscar Mayer Weinermobile, a midway, and kiddie kayaking.

On Sunday, the Madison Marathon ends at Bratfest. What better reason is there to run, than knowing there are bratwursts at the end of the journey?

Bratfest has been featured in a documentary released July 15, 2006, and is also featured in the July 2007 release Eat This!: 1,001 Things to Eat Before You Diet By Ian Jackman.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens:

Shelley Munro * Bethanne * Janice Seagraves
Ms Menozzi * Adelle Laudan * December * Darla
Debbie Mumford * Dana Belfry * Alice Audrey
Nina Pierce * Paige Tyler * Cassandra Curtis
Gina Ardito * Pussreboots * Mia * Jennifer McKenzie

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Shelley Munro said...

It sounds like a fun weekend! I can't imagine that many all in the same place.

Bethanne said...

I love brats...with a little mustard? sounds like a fun event!

Janice said...

Love your thirteen, you really put a lot of thought into it.

I cheated with mine, I wrote what I saw in front of me.

My link to it;

Ms Menozzi said...

It sounds like fun - even the brats for breakfast!

This is when I miss the States... LOL!

Fun post - but now I'm hungry...


Adelle said...

I bet the smell is mouth watering. Sounds like a fun time. Happy T13!

Debbie Mumford said...

Mmmm...I love brats! Wish I could be there.

December said...

gah - now I want one for breakfast.

MMM- a sheyboygan brat - two on a Hardroll. gah, that's gluttony.

Darla said...

Sounds like fun. Though here in Germany, every day is Bratwurst day. :-)

Alice Audrey said...

Over all the years I lived there I never went to Brat Fest. Now I'm kicking myself.

Nina Pierce said...

I love festivals, it doesn't matter what the theme is. But I love Bratwurst. Have fun!

Paige Tyler said...

I've never eaten a brat! LOL!


My TT is at

Cassandra said...

I swear I am sooo bad, when I saw that first photo, food wasn't what was on my mind. Oopsie. LOL.

But they do look yummy. :)

Heather said...

Shelley and Bethanne ~ Definitely a fun time - and crowded.

Janice~ Thank you! And hey - nothing wrong with a nice, easy theme once in a while.

MsMenozzi~ Mwahaha...if you're hungry my work here is done. *WEG*

Adelle~ Mouthwatering ain't the word for it. It's downright torture just driving past the park!

Debbie~ I'll be sure to think of you all as I enjoy myself! *G*

Heather said...

December~ Ah, the power of suggestion, huh? I think the best part of Memorial Day weekend is the smell of brats lingering in the Wisconsin air for four days.

Darla~ LOL, I'm sure you're right. While I like brats any time of the year, they seem to taste better grilled on a warm summer day.

Alice~ Aww...the things you miss when you move away, huh? Guess you'll have to come back some time!

Nina~ Yes, you have to love community festivals, no matter what the theme. Especially when they include bratwursts. *g*

Paige~ Gasp! Never? That just isn't right!

Casandra~ I was wondering how long before one of you dirty girls commented on that! Thanks for not disappointing! LOL

pussreboots said...

Bratfest sounds like a lot of fun. Happy TT.

Gina Ardito said...

Wow! Sounds great. Enjoy every bite!

Mia said...

Okay, I have to go get the book 1,001 things to eat before I diet.

Obviously an excellent book!

Heather said...

Thanks Puss and Gina! *g*

Mia~ LOL - obviously a most excellent book!

Jennifer McKenzie said...

Mmmmmmmmm brats! I'm all hungry now.