Greetings and salutations,
Welcome back for another week of travel stories and photography. This week we travel to the near east side of Madison to the La Fête De Marquette music festival. This event, now in it’s 12th year, benefits the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center that provides support and resources to the surrounding community. Established in 1968 and housed in a donated church, Wil-Mar offers a variety of classes, camps for kids, and organizes community events for the economically and culturally diverse audience that constitutes the neighborhood. La Fête is one of Wil-Mar’s largest fund raisers and has become very popular with folks all over the City of Madison and surrounding areas. It features an eclectic mix of music with the main focus on a French and New Orleans flavor such as zydeco, blues, jazz, and some indie stuff too. The event is held in Madison’s Central Park, a relatively new park bordered by railroad tracks on both sides and along a bike path connecting the east side of Madison to the Capitol Square. This area was once an industrial brownfield and after a lot of encouragement by neighborhood associations and local alders, it finally became a reality in the last 10 years or so. Central Park is fast becoming one of the go to places for the growing summer live music scene here in Madison. While parking can be a challenge, it’s worth the effort to hear great music in an open air venue.
Lots of visitors ride their bikes to the event to avoid finding nearby parking. The bike area was completely packed this year. And besides, it’s oh so Madison, one of the most bikeable cities in the U.S.
This year La Fete was held July 13-16 and the seemingly ever present rain we’ve had this year held off to make for some very nice evening listening to music. Some of my favorite performers this year were: Terry Sieman and the Zydeco Experience, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, Glen David Andrews, and Red Baraat. Here’s a few photos from those performers.
One of the most interesting groups was from the Czech Republics, Mydy Rabycad (don’t ask me what that means!). This is a young, up and coming electroswing band that combines the influence of vintage or modern swing and jazz mixed with hip hop and electronic dance music. It does take some getting used to, I did read somewhere that someone considered electoswing the very worst genre of music in the world. I guess there’s haters everywhere and of all things! Anyway, the lead singer had an interesting look. Here’ a few photos to demonstrate why.
While the music, food and beer were the big draws to the event, the family oriented kids play area and music tent offered something for the whole family.
This event is also well known for the appearance of a vintage ferris wheel. It is always busy and enjoyed by everyone, besides it makes a nice back drop for photos! I’ve put a ride on my long bucket list, so watch for me at next year’s event is July 12-15, 2018. Then keep an eye on this blog site for some photos from that experience.
Please note that in some of the ferris wheel photos, one can see the Wisconsin State Capitol in the background. In addition, the exhaust stacks from Madison Gas and Electric Blount Generating Station are also visible. The stack with the scaffolding is being removed, it’s old and no longer needed. This is just a brief taste of the Madison skyline.
These guys staffing the prize wheel to raise funds for the Neighborhood Center were a real hoot. They had a line of bovine excrement that never ended and a comment for everyone and everything. And they were successful in generating customers willing to pay for a chance to spin the wheel to win some “free” stuff and a chance at some grand prizes. Besides for a $10 spin, players got a “free” drink ticket worth $6. A lot of fun watching these guys work.
Well, that’s a glimpse at the La Fête De Marquette version 2017. If you are in Madison during the third week of July, look me up, I’ll be the guy near the stage with a couple of cameras slung over my shoulders! And trying to balance a cup of beer while holding a camera!
Until next week, travel safe.