April 1, 2015
33 years ago, in an effort to thank the customers of his family-owned grocery store, Tom Metcalfe (1935-2006) and his wife Margaret, created a modest brat fry with a table, three chairs and a Weber grill in the store parking lot. Since 1983, more than $1.4 million has been raised for local charities, and nearly 3.5 million brats have been enjoyed. Today, Brat Fest remains a volunteer-run nonprofit free music festival with proceeds benefiting more than 140 local charities. Who knew a bratwurst could do so much?
Brat Fest brings in national acts such as Bret Michaels, Charlie Daniels and Aaron Lewis as well as more than 100 bands on four free music stages. And new this year Brat Fest will become A Destination Zero Waste, a partner with the Vilas Zoo during their Grand Opening of the Artic Passage (the $10,000,000 new addition), plus providing shuttle service to and from the zoo over the entire weekend, and more.
World’s Largest Brat Fest
Alliant Energy Center, Madison, WI
Friday, May 22 through Monday, May 25