"Wisconsin-Happy Festival State", by Eve Phillips. My husband and I love to travel in the state of Wisconsin where we live and get great pictures on the way. My name is Laurie Kutil and photography has become a great passion of mine since 2010. One thing I have learned in researching each town before visiting it is that, "Every town has it's story". When I do uncover those stories by connecting with local residents, our experience becomes so much richer. In turn, sharing the stories with you brings me joy :)
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.
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.
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.
Get your picture with the French’s Mustard bottle or the Culver’s mascot Scoopie! We posed with Scoopie in 2013, not this year.
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.
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!
The museum sells about 400 mustards and ALL are available for tasting before buying. How else would you know if you like it!
There was even a movie theater downstairs showing mustard videos.
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.
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!
Another great day at the National Mustard Day festival.
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.
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!
Enjoy the music, Zorba the Greek™would have been leading the line!
Enjoy shopping and more in the marketplace behind the church.
Yummy cinnamon doughnuts, made right in front of you!
Matryoshka, or Russian Nesting dolls sold by two beautiful ladies.
Let’s go downstairs to the bakery and some coffee. Quite the spread of treats available for sale!
Greek or regular coffee too!
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.
And the main area of worship called the Nave.
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!
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.
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.
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 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.
The view from the tower, breathtaking on this starry night. The streak is an airplane.
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)!