by Laura Kocum
on Thursday, September 1st, 2016 at 12:26pm.
Who is ready for some good eating? The Labor Day weekend brings a welcome break to many and, in Madison, that also means a break from cooking. Just grab your favorite foodies and head downtown to the 34th annual "Taste of Madison." The event circles the Capitol Square, and includes more than 80 restaurants, 200 menu items, and 3 concert venues. And, since the Badgers play on Saturday, WKOW-TV and TDS are hosting "Wisconsin's Largest Tailgate Party" on West Washington Avenue beginning at 2:30. The game will be broadcast on a giant screen. Admission to the Taste of Madison, and all the associated entertainment venues is free of charge.
It's affordable: Every item is priced between $1 and $4, so it's easy to sample a few items, and enjoy the day without breaking the bank. Bring cash, though, as most vendors are set up for cash only purchases.
It supports charity: Volunteers can earn an hourly wage to help their non-profit, and tip jars offer another opportunity to support area charities. Additional proceeds (from booth purchases, other donations) also benefit local non-profits. The event raises $60,000 annually for charitable causes.
It is allergy friendly: A menu is available online (in advance) with a wide range of nut free, gluten free, dairy free and other options listed by vendor.
It offers variety: Cuisine from around the world is offered alongside local farm-to-table options. And, there seems to be an endless supply of sweets: chocolate dipped fruit, cupcakes, ice cream and more!
There was a competition leading up to the Taste of Madison, where more than 50 judges sampled menu items, and awarded their favorites. The winners are published on the Taste of Madison website, along with a map of all the vendors locations on the square. Madison Festivals, Inc. manages Taste of Madison. The event opens after the Farmer's Market on Saturday, running from 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and then opens again Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Enjoy all the delicious food Madison has to offer!