26th Annual National Mustard Day in Middleton


2016-Mustard Day poster

The last time we were able to attend the Mustard festival was in 2013.  The festival always begins with the National Mustard Museum‘s Curator Barry Levenson kicks off the event with mustard songs and thanking the many sponsors.

Barry Levenson and Madison Accordion band

Here are the words to the songs, audience participation highly encouraged!


The music is played by the Madison Accordion Band, dubbed the POUPON U Accordion Band during the festival.

vi-bergum in Madison Accordion

The Duchess of Mustard is the star of the show! Everyone wanted pictures with her.  She makes her own special hats, quite the talent!  She can also yodel and did so for the growing audience.

After the opening ceremony we mingled with the crowd and took in the sights.

Mustard Festival Crowd

Get your picture with the French’s Mustard bottle or the Culver’s mascot Scoopie! We posed with Scoopie in 2013, not this year.


Scoopie and us 8-3-13

Culver’s also had a mustard custard made special just for this festival.


The Weinermobile was also there for selfies, since Oscar Mayer provided the hot dogs for sale.

Weinermobile at Mustard Festival

Love the beer mug hats this couple is wearing.


Of course we had to stop inside the mustard Museum itself and look at the mustards on display.  Very impressive!

National Mustard Museum in Middleton

National Mustard Museum display

Got Mustard Statue in Mustard Museum

The museum sells about 400 mustards and ALL are available for tasting before buying. How else would you know if you like it!

Mustard Tasting

There was even a movie theater downstairs showing mustard videos.

Mustard Theater at Mustard Museum

After the museum  I stopped by the souvenir tent. Even after the event, you can still pick up many of these items in the museum.

Souvenir tend at Mustard Festival

Enjoy the music entertainment at the festival, the Madison Accordion band and the Red Hot Horn Dawgs.

Lots of fun games too for both kids and adults.  Feed the Curator is tossing mustard packets into the mouth of Barry Levenson and win a bottle of mustard!

Feed the Curator game


Another great day at the National Mustard Day festival.


Greekfest 2016 in Madison



greek-fest cover

This is one great festival we try not to miss!  Greekfest is held at the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Madison. They celebrate 50 years this year and still going strong!  Here is the history of the festival.

greek-fest history

The church has just been remodeled  and resumed giving tours again after not having them last year. First though, we enjoyed a Greek dinner and great music by Rhythmos Entertainment from Chicago. They were great and really engaged the crowd to dance and have fun! Here is the menu, yum!

greek-fest menu 2016

Enjoy the music,  Zorba the Greek™would have been leading the line!



Enjoy shopping and more in the marketplace behind the church.

Greekfest marketplace

Yummy cinnamon doughnuts, made right in front of you!

Greekfest Cinnamon Doughnut Maker

Greekfest Cinnamon Doughnuts

Matryoshka, or Russian Nesting dolls sold by two beautiful ladies.


Also jewelery.

Jewelery for sale at Greekfest

New this year, a bounce house by Fun Time Bounces.  More fun for the kids!

Bouncehouse at Greekfest

Let’s go downstairs to the bakery and some coffee. Quite the spread of treats available for sale!

Greek Fest Treats menu

Madison Greek Assumption Church downstairs

Greek or regular coffee too!

Greek Coffee

It’s time for the church tour conducted by Rev. Father Michael Vanderhoef.  It wasn’t so much as a tour per sé, more like explaining each section of the church and the Orthodox beliefs. My brother and his wife (a member) were married in this church also so we have a history here.

The entryway is called the Narthex.   Worshippers can light a candle here and say a prayer before entering the Nave.  This is also to get into the proper frame of mind for worship as well. Here are also a few icons for veneration.


Candles Lit in Narthex

And the main area of worship called the Nave.

Inside Greek Church


Within the Nave is the Sanctuary. Only ordained clergymen are permitted behind the screen.


You will notice the beautiful art work inside the main part of the church, called iconography. The artist is David Giffey, he is a member of the church and his work is seen here and worldwide. He has spent 35 years painting this church and is still a work in progress. The ultimate goal is that the entire interior of the Nave be covered in iconography.

We always enjoy going to Greekfest, a fun Madison tradition for over 50 years!



2nd Annual GLEAM-Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison




Gleam admission and times

Olbrich Botanical Gardens is always holding exciting events for the public. 2015 was their first year for GLEAM, a night event featuring art that is illuminated. Here is our visit from last year.  We didn’t think they could top that exciting first year, but it seems they did.  Monopods are permitted for a steadier shot and also to not get in the way of the other guests.

The route is different than last year, this is the map.

gleam-guide-map 2016

This year they added a cash bar to enhance your stroll through the garden.


We were just amazed by the workmanship and talent of the artists participating this year. You can vote for your favorite after your visit.


We walked through in the daytime also to see what they looked like then.  Enjoy the video I made of our visits.

The Fire Monkeys were especially good. Three were in a tree, one was on the edge of a small pond. In the video, you will also hear the jungle sounds that are piped in on a nearby speaker.

Fire Monkeys


Another favorite was “The Soul’s Song” by the family of artist Ted Brusubardis.  This is a song of Latvia, a small excerpt is in the video.  The name in Latvian is Dvēseles Dziesma. Below is the song in it’s entirety.

The images of the performance is projected onto the back of the waterfall behind the Rose Tower.

The Soul's Song

The Rose Tower is a beautiful setting for both of the Soul’s Song and Yahara Cloud’s pieces.  Inside the tower had a purple light projector.

Inside Rose Tower

Yahara Cloudslong view

The view from the tower, breathtaking on this starry night. The streak is an airplane.

View from Rose Tower at night

See website for more information about this and other events.

Be sure to stop by soon for this wonderful exhibit and bring your friends and family (and your camera)!