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Brat Fest 2021 starts this weekend, will feature new format

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Brat Fest

MADISON (WKOW) -- Because of COVID-19, the world's largest Brat Fest had to cancel its event at the Alliant Energy Center in two years in a row. But this year's canceled event has been reborn in a new format that organizers hope will encourage people to visit and patronize more local businesses.

More than 150 locations across Dane County are participating in the "Build Your Own Brat Fest" event, including restaurants, bars, and even churches.

The mini Brat Fests start Friday, and there are several happening each day of the weekend. Organizers hope it will get people in the doors of some of the businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yahara Bay Distillers in Madison is one of the dozens of participating locations. According to Gregg Potter, event planner with Project Connect, Yahara Bay is usually a sponsor of the event anyway, but this format can help the business expland its own reach.

"Since Yahara Bay is on the outskirts of the city [of Madison], it's going to remind people that Yahara Bay is here, and they're open for business, and that hey, come have fun in our large space in our big parking lot," he said.

While you can find plenty to do all weekend at the participating locations by clicking here, Yahara Bay will have its event on Saturday starting at 10 a.m., and will feature live music, brats, and even games. With the purchase of a $20 ticket, people will get a brat, chips, and 2 drink tickets. The distillery is encouraging people to bring their own chair.

You can buy a ticket before Saturday's event here.

"Brat Fest is all weekend long," said Potter. "So if you can get here great, but there are so many locations. Everyone in the city should only be eating brats all weekend long."

Proceeds from Brat Fest also benefit a number of charities as well, including the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County.

Sara Maslar-Donar

Reporter, WKOW 27 News

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