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Why I Am Not Attending Madison’s Johnsonville Brat Fest Has Nothing To Do With Politics

May 29, 2011

For all the attention that politics is getting this brat eating spring in Madison, given the collective bargaining fight and the large donations that some have given to Governor Walker, I can say that I have not attended the large Johnsonville Brat Fest for many years.  My reason has nothing to do with politics.  In fact, I wrote about the reason I was not attending one year ago in one of my ‘Letters From Home.’    I reprint a portion below.

But I recall the days when the brat fest was smaller, simpler, and more pleasant to participate in.

When I lived on the west side of Madison I made a habit of going to each brat fest that was held at the Sentry Food Store at the corner of Midvale and University.  I would park the car and James and I would grab a couple brats, greet the celebrity on hand who was helping, and sit down to eat.  We often ran into someone we knew, chatted for a while, and had a pleasant time.  It was a relaxing, easy, and fun thing to do. 

Then something happened, and the small event had to be ‘bigger and better’.  No longer could the small event be enough, instead there had to be a huge venue, a carnival, games, and endless enticements like fireworks to lure folks into buying a brat and spending hours of time and money.

When the brat fest ceased to be a parking lot event I stopped going.  I am not a curmudgeon, or uneasy in large crowds.  Quite the opposite on both counts.  But I have  negative reaction to the idea that everything has to be bigger to be better.   I always cheer on the groups that work this event for the proceeds that help non-profits.  But the whole idea of BIG IS BEST baffles me.

  1. May 29, 2011 6:15 PM

    I love your comment…no offense…but I smiled. Have a great weekend…..and as I am not sure where you live come to Wisconsin someday and enjoy a brat….I like mine without sauerkraut….with just onions and mustard and ketchup and relish of certain types too. Thanks again for the comment.

  2. May 29, 2011 5:54 PM

    When I first saw the title of the post, I thought it was about a festival celebrating bratty people, not a bratwurst festival. Yes, I’m a dork.

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