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Police expect calm Freakfest this year

Police expect calm Freakfest this year

Madison police said they expect a relatively calm Freakfest this year.

State Street will be filled with all sorts of characters this Saturday as the Halloween celebration continues in downtown Madison.

Police said the number of arrests at Freakfest have gone down, and they are projecting a cost savings this year.

Streets, mainly Gorhman and Johnson, will close at 4:45 p.m. Saturday and will reopen at 2 a.m. Sunday morning.

Advisories on eating fish from local lakes may not be reaching all

Advisories on eating fish from local lakes may not be reaching all

Fish from Madison’s lakes contain contaminants that can pose adverse health effects to people who consume them. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has issued recommendations suggesting that people limit their consumption of fish caught in the lakes.

Yet those advisories may not be reaching everyone, especially low-income people and minority groups, who are more likely to eat fish from the city’s lakes. Moreover, programs to spread the word about the hazards have been limited or cut in response to limited resources.

“Given the hard economic times, I suspect more people than ever are fishing for food -- predominantly lower income and minority (people),” said Maria C. Powell, an environmental scientist and president of the advocacy group, Midwest Environmental Justice Organization. A recent rise in consumption may be leading to disparities in contaminant exposure, which can have long-term health consequences.

Award-winning journalist is first WUD lecture speaker of year

Award-winning journalist is first WUD lecture speaker of year

The first speaker of the Wisconsin Union Directorate Distinguished Lecture Series this year is award-winning journalist Michele Norris, according to a release.

Norris will be speaking Monday in Varsity Hall at Union South at 7:30 p.m., according to the release. Tickets are not required to attend the free event.

Norris has more than two decades of experience and is currently a host and special correspondent for National Public Radio, organizers said. Previously, she served as co-host for NPR’s All Things Considered, public radio’s longest-running national program, with Robert Siegel and Melissa Block. Norris hosted from 2002 to 2012.

She released her first book, “The Grace of Silence: A Memoir,” in September 2013, according to the release. It focused on how America talks about race in the wake of Barack Obama’s presidential election and explores her own family’s racial legacy.

Festival brings activities, crafts to Elver Park neighborhood

Festival brings activities, crafts to Elver Park neighborhood

Madison Parks is hosting the second annual Fall Festival Craft Fair Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Elver Park.

The free arts and crafts show will be held rain or shine at the park on McKenna Boulevard, according to a release.

"Last year Madison Parks introduced an arts and crafts show to our Fall Festival, and it was a big hit," Parks Superintendent Kevin Briski said in the release. "We are really excited to bring the Fall Festival Craft Fair back this year with talented crafters, food, music and fun activities for families."

The festival will have local artists, crafters, food vendors and live music by the Dang-Its, according to the release. Artists and crafters will be selling original, handmade pieces like pottery, jewelry, quilts, paintings and other decorative pieces.

Willy Street Fair back in its 36th year

Willy Street Fair back in its 36th year

A local street fair spanning three blocks returns Saturday and Sunday for its 36th year.

The Willy Street Fair will offer a variety of music, street performances, food and beverages from across the globe, arts, crafts and more.

Saturday is the Willy Warm-up from 1:30 to 9 p.m. on the 900 block of Williamson Street with three stages of music -- world, folk and a DJ -- plus food and drinks.

The parade Sunday begins at 11 a.m. The Willy Street Fair will include nearly 150 vendors, five music stages

The fair continues through 7 p.m., ending with a community raffle with more than 150 prizes.

The Willy Street Fair raises money for the Common Wealth Development and Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center.

Stacked event celebrates opening of new Central Library

Stacked event celebrates opening of new Central Library

The new Central Library will be filled with music, art, hands-on activities, and local food and drinks Thursday at Stacked.

There will be a limited number of tickets, between 200 and 250, available at the door for $15 each, according to a release. Once tickets sell out, additional tickets may be released as capacity limits allow.

The event at 201 W. Mifflin St. starts at 8 p.m. and goes until 1 a.m., according to the release. DJs Nick Nice, Doctor Oxygen and Wangzoon with Paka Paka Lightshow will play throughout the evening on the third floor.

Live music is also scheduled throughout the night on three different levels, organizers said. Banzo, FIB's and Soho food carts will also be at the event.

According to the release, hands-on activities will be led community partners.

Proceeds from Stacked will help the Madison Public Library Foundation reach its $9 million campaign goal of private funds in support of the $30 million Central Library project.

World Music Festival to celebrate decade

An annual Madison cultural event celebrating music revels in a decade of the jubilee this year.

Madison World Music Festival organizers said the three-day event, scheduled Sept. 19-21 at the Memorial Union and Willy Street Fair, is in its 10th year. The festival is presented by the Wisconsin Union Directorate Performing Arts Committee in collaboration with the Willy Street Fair.

Organizers said the festival will include music from many parts of the world, workshops, and opportunities to dance, all for free.

Of special note this year is the number of women performing and leading bands -- of the 11 bands presented, only two are all-male, according to the Wisconsin Union Directorate Performing Arts Committee.

The tentative 2013 Madison World Music Festival schedule:

Thursday, Sept. 19, Memorial Union Terrace: