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Olbrich Park

The Madison Parks Foundation is hoping to host an inaugural Makeshift Festival at Olbrich Park in August. The event would celebrate culinary and artistic expression. The Madison Park Commission will take up the topic Wednesday. 

A nomadic food festival will celebrate culinary and artistic expression in its inaugural run on Madison’s East Side in August.

The Madison Park Commission last week gave its approval for the Madison Parks Foundation’s Makeshift Festival to take place in Olbrich Park on Aug. 20.

The event will feature restaurant vendors from Madison and the surrounding region along with displays by local artists. Bob Hemauer, a foundation board member, summed up the concept as a “temporary art installation event with great food and great drink.”

While the nonprofit foundation selected Olbrich Park for this year’s debut, Hemauer said it is “core to the identity” of the festival that it would move throughout the city in following years to showcase Madison’s parks and public spaces.

The festival is scheduled to run from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tickets are set at $10, with an estimated attendance of 1,500 people. It would be the largest, individual event the foundation puts on, Hemauer said.

He said the foundation would seek between 12 and 15 food vendors to offer dishes between $4 and $7. Hemauer said the foundation is also working with Bethany Jurewicz, who helped organize the “Municipal” pop-up art space in the Madison Municipal Building last year, to curate the artistic side of Makeshift.

The festival will take place on the western side of the park near a sledding hill that Hemauer said would act as a natural background for art pieces.

No amplified music permit is being sought, and Hemauer said any musical performances would “add color and shading to the event.”

The event will benefit the foundation, which helps preserve and improve parks citywide.

The foundation selected Olbrich for its festival due to the availability of the park, its location along the shoreline of Lake Monona and access to nearby bus routes and bicyclists, Hemauer said, but added that “any park is on the table” for potential future festivals.

Hemauer has helped organize the annual La Fete de Marquette and AtwoodFest events as a board member for the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center.

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Logan Wroge has been a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal since 2015.