Must-Visit Summer Festivals in Madison, WI

Summer in Madison, Wisconsin, is a vibrant time filled with exciting festivals that offer something for everyone. Whether you're a foodie, music lover, art enthusiast, or just looking for family-friendly fun, Madison's summer festival lineup has it all. Here's your guide to the must-visit festivals this summer in Madison, WI:

The Fête de Marquette

Dates: July 11-14, 2024
Location: McPike Park, 202 S Ingersoll St, Madison, WI
Details: The Fête de Marquette celebrates Madison's French heritage with a blend of music, food, and culture. This lively festival features performances by local and international musicians, delicious French cuisine, and a bustling marketplace. Highlights include the grand parade and the traditional French bal-musette.

Taste of Madison

Dates: August 31 - September 1, 2024
Location: Capitol Square, Madison, WI
Details: Taste of Madison is a culinary delight, offering a chance to sample dishes from over 80 local restaurants. This free event showcases the diversity of Madison's food scene, with everything from gourmet bites to street food favorites. The festival also features live music across multiple stages, ensuring a festive atmosphere.

Concerts on the Square

Dates: Wednesdays, June 26 - July 31, 2024
Location: King Street corner of the Capitol Square, Madison, WI
Details: Enjoy beautiful summer evenings with Concerts on the Square, a series of free outdoor performances by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. Bring a picnic, relax on the lawn, and soak in the sounds of classical and contemporary music. This beloved tradition has been a Madison staple since 1983.

Art Fair on the Square

Dates: July 13-14, 2024
Location: Capitol Square, Madison, WI
Details: Art Fair on the Square transforms the Capitol Square into an open-air gallery featuring works from over 500 artists. From paintings and sculptures to jewelry and textiles, there's something for every art lover. This juried art show attracts artists and visitors from across the country and has been a highlight of Madison’s cultural calendar for over 60 years.

Monona Community Festival

Dates: July 3-4, 2024
Location: Winnequah Park, Monona, WI
Details: Celebrate Independence Day at the Monona Community Festival. This family-friendly event includes a carnival, live music, food vendors, and fireworks. Don’t miss the famous "Great Lake Monona Dog Paddle" where dogs can splash in the lake. It's a fantastic way to enjoy summer fun and community spirit.

Dane County Fair

Dates: July 18-21, 2024
Location: Alliant Energy Center, Madison, WI
Details: The Dane County Fair is a quintessential summer experience with agricultural exhibits, carnival rides, and live entertainment. From 4-H shows to demolition derbies, there's excitement for all ages. This fair has been a tradition for over 165 years, showcasing the best of Dane County’s farming and cultural heritage.

Orton Park Festival

Dates: August 23-25, 2024
Location: Orton Park, Madison, WI
Details: The Orton Park Festival is one of Madison’s oldest and most beloved neighborhood festivals. Set under the majestic oaks of Orton Park, the festival features live music, a magical aerial dance performance by Cycropia, food vendors, and a children’s parade. It’s a perfect blend of music, art, and community vibes.

Maxwell Street Days

Dates: July 18-21, 2024
Location: State Street, Madison, WI
Details: Maxwell Street Days is a massive sidewalk sale along State Street. Local shops and boutiques offer incredible deals on clothing, jewelry, books, and more. This shopping extravaganza has been a Madison tradition since 1975 and is a great way to support local businesses while scoring some bargains.

Sugar Maple Music Festival

Dates: August 2-3, 2024
Location: Lake Farm County Park, Madison, WI
Details: The Sugar Maple Music Festival is a celebration of traditional music, featuring bluegrass, Americana, and folk artists. This family-friendly festival offers music workshops, jam sessions, and performances by renowned musicians. Enjoy the beautiful park setting while immersing yourself in the rich sounds of roots music.

Monona's Chili Cook-Off

Dates: September 28, 2024
LocationAhuska Park, 400 E Broadway, Monona, WI 53716
Details: Get ready for a day filled with fun, flavor, and friendly competition at the annual Monona's Chili Cook-Off! This highly anticipated event is set to take place on September 28, 2024, at the beautiful Ahuska Park in Monona, Wisconsin. Whether you're a chili connoisseur or just looking for a fantastic day out with family and friends, this cook-off has something for everyone.

Plan Your Summer in Madison

With such a diverse array of festivals, Madison, WI, is the place to be this summer. Each event offers unique experiences and a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture. Mark your calendars and get ready for an unforgettable summer filled with food, music, art, and fun!

Posted by Iris Chavarria on


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