Tag Archive | saurkraut

Waterloo – Carousel City

Waterloo sign


Waterloo is a town of over 3000 in Jefferson County that has a lot going for it.  It host three major industries, Trek Bicycles.

Trek Bicycles

Van Holten’s Pickle-in-a-Pouch

Van Holten Pickles

Van Holtens

And Briess Malt and Ingredients Co.

Briess Malt and IngredientsIMG_7220

There is plenty to see in town as well. It has a distinctive water tower that looks like a carousel. The city hosts one of the last CW Parker Carousels in operation, also one of the oldest, originally built in 1911..  The Carousel resides at Fireman’s Park in town.  We arrived just before it opened at 4:30. It’s protected  from weather when not in use.  A couple plaques are outside. Bob Hanson arrived to operate the carousel. He is very nice and even posed for a picture with us.

WatertowerPark sign

Closed CarouselHistoric Site


We had a great ride. The carousel was damaged in the floods of 2008. All parts were restored and it was moved to higher ground.  It has now been in operation since July 4, 2011. It took 3 years to restore it to its former beauty.

carousel logo 3IMG_7617

It was a great ride, we had fun.  We have also attended their festival, Weiner and Kraut Day in September.  The city goes all out with hot dogs and sauerkraut, live music and lots of other fun events.


Sausage Guys 350x

9-8 261

Here we are with the Klemens Sausage Guys. We love taking what we call, “crazy character” pictures at every opportunity 🙂  One of our favorite part  of the festival is the Weiner Dog Parade. Its so cute seeing all the dogs, some of them even have costumes on. City-wide garage sales are going on too.

9-8 203

We hope you enjoyed your visit to Waterloo, beautiful city on the Maunesha River.

9-8 024Carousel City



Johnsonville’s World’s Largest Brat Fest – Metcalfe’s in Madison

Every Memorial Day weekend from Fri-Monday

Brat Fest has been an annual event in Madison since 1983.  The first Brat Fest consisted of one grill and one drink stand.  Late owner Tom Metcalfe is seen here at the grill. Now in the 2000’s, his sons Tim and Kevin run the event.

Photo by Metcalfe’s at Hilldale

The host grocery store is Metcalfe’s. In the beginning, there was only one Metcalfe’s store, located at the Hilldale shopping center just outside. It could still fit in the store parking lot, and the event was on Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. Here is how it looked in 2002.


In 2005, it relocated to Willow Island at the Alliant Energy Center.   It then scaled back to Memorial day weekend only. The venue added music and a carnival in this much larger space. A great many charities raise funds working at Brat Fest, my husband and I volunteer to assist the two organizations we are affiliated with.

The organizations we assist are NewBridge and/or the Autism Society of South Central Wisconsin.

It’s so much fun too, and we enjoy grilling best of all of the volunteer jobs they have. Here we are in 2013.

Let’s go down memory lane, these picture was from Labor Day weekend in 2002, when it was held in the Hilldale parking lot. it got too big for that and moved to Willow Island at the Alliant Energy Center.  However, it is only on Memorial Day weekend after the move.    Every year they try to set a new record with the number of bratwursts sold.  The brand is Johnsonville.

In 2019, Field Roast Plant-Based Bratwurst for vegans. Boar’s Head 1/4 lb Uncured Pork & Beef Hot Dog for non-Brat eaters.


Here are more recent photos of Brat Fest.  This is looking across to Willow Island.


The Weinermobile used to be there too, not recently though since they no longer serve this brand of hot dogs.

Weinermobile 2012 Bratfest

In the early years at Willow Island, Johnsonville brings their “World’s Largest Grill” to show off. Very cool! This was in 2006. That year they took pictures of you in front of the grill with a Polaroid.


Big Taste Grill facts

Laurie & Al 06 sm

This the brat Tent where all the brats are sold.

Brat Tent

Behind the tent are many grillers working hard.  I am usually put in charge of the veggie brats since I am so careful with them.


Condiment tent, everything including sauerkraut, onions, relish and ketchup and many flavors of mustard. Yum!



A new addition a few years ago, roasted corn.  Not local corn, that’s not until July/August. Still yummy though. Al posed with the Corn Lady. And here we are last year posing with a friend of ours.

Roasted cornCorn Lady and Al

Selfie with friend at Brat Fest 2014

Get your mementos here at the Brat Gear tent. There are new items here every year.

Brat Gear

A special ice cream is also sold just at Brat Fest by Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, Bratfest Cookie Dough. Delicious!


There is not just great food here, there is also a carnival and four music stages as well as fair food at the carnival located in the parking lot.

musicstageCarnival at Brat Fest in Madison

Even the Budweiser Clydesdales stop by occasionally. You won’t leave here hungry or un-entertained!

Clydesdales at Brat Fest

They also came in 2017 and 2018, see the video of them going by!

Sometimes kayaking for the kids by Rutabaga.

Rutabaga Kayak

See video of some of the action in 2017.


In 2018, we enjoyed the fireworks display for the first time! Laurie managed to go all four days this year and recorded A LOT of performances.

The Trinity Irish Dancers put on a great show!

Another favorite group of ours is Mighty Wheelhouse.

The Swing Crew from the Wisconsin Dells, a funny group!

Traditional music from Mexico by Mariachi Monarcas, from Milwaukee.

We hope you had fun, see you next year!

ThankyouBrat Fest Bench

Related Articles

“The Beast”