The Willy Street Fair-Summer’s Last Hurrah!

3rd Weekend in September

Willy St Fair 2013100_5740

This is the 4th and  last festival of the summer in this near-east side part of Madison. It’s sponsored by Commonwealth Development and Wilmar Neighborhood Center.

Many consider this one to be the best,including myself. It occupies several blocks of Williamson (Willy) street and is full of vendors, three stages and lots of happy people.  My first one was in 1997, two months after I met my husband.

It begins on Saturday, occupying one block. Sunday is the big day, three blocks of fun!  The parade is at 11:00, come watch last year’s parade.

You need to get a t-shirt too, it supports the fair and neighborhood. They are made by Wildwood Productions.

Willy Street Fair shirts

The balloon arch over the street is a staple at the fair. It’s the gateway to fun!

Willy St. Fair Balloon Arch

Interesting people and dogs.



And don’t forget the many creative costumes!  “Fish Guy”

Willy St. Fair 2009 fish costumespace alien

This was in 2011, we were all caught up in the fantasy of the moment.  This character pretended to “capture” this girl. Surprised mom below.

Willy Street Fair 2011 costumes

Willy St. Fair 2011 girl back with mom

Sunday is the big parade, even more costumes and it feels like Mardi Gras!  Jim Wildeman’s Bubble Mobile is a staple at the fair also. And the Wacky Wheeler. Here is some more coverage of the 2012 Fair.

BubblemobileJim Wildeman's Bubblemobile

Wacky Wheeler Willy Street Fair

Fat Pinky Glass puts on an impressive glass-blowing demo while a large crowd looks on.

glass blowing





We went to the fair this year on a Sunday.  Sunday is our favorite day to go because of the exciting parade.  Participants include business on the street, along with regular people just wanting to be part of it all! You can watch the parade below. And yes, “Fish Guy” was in it, asking for worms 🙂


After the parade we enjoyed the entertainment up and down Willy St.  This year there was also a biggest pumpkin/watermelon competition.  The Bubble Mobile® always has a throng of people around it. It is the only day out of the whole year we see this magnificent car! See this and more in the video below.

I barely scratched the surface of all the fun at this fair.   Lots of live music also with three stages on Sunday, one on Saturday. To really end summer right, this the fair to go to!

3 thoughts on “The Willy Street Fair-Summer’s Last Hurrah!

  1. Pingback: Celebrate Diversity at the Triangle Ethnic Fest | Adventures in Travel

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