The 51st annual Orton Park Festival will celebrate Madison’s wonderfully weird diversity this Thursday through Sunday (August 25-28). The free event – chock full of food, music and other fun in the sun – is held at the shady eastside park, located on the 1100 block of Spaight Street in Madison.
A benefit for the Marquette Neighborhood Association, the Orton Park Festival includes a live auction on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons. No dogs or carry-ins are allowed for the duration of the festival.
It opens Thursday with Family Night, featuring pizza, ice cream and a performance by Cycropia Aerial Dance at 7:00 p.m. Cycropia has enchanted Madison with its tree-loving, high-flying artistry for over 25 years. http://www.cycropia.org/
The festival continues on Friday evening with a pair of local bands on the Main Stage. The music starts at 5:15 with funk-soulsters The Big Payback, a 9-piece outfit that plays mostly original R & B songs, with vocalist Leah Isabel Tirado accompanied by plenty of horns. http://www.bigpaybackmusic.com/
At 7:00 p.m. on Friday Madison’s beloved folk rebels The Kissers take over. Their sublime acoustic sound mixes traditional Irish tunes with original compositions. http://www.thekissers.com/
Then Cycropia Aerial Dance reprises its show at dusk (circa 8:30) on Friday night.
The music continues on Saturday with Americana, world-rhythm and rock ‘n’ roll ensembles. Here’s the lineup: 11:45 a.m. – Disq; 1:15 p.m. – Nick Brown Band; 2:45 – The Flavor That Kills; 5:00 – Painted Caves; 6:30 – GGOOLLDD; and the headliner at 8:15 – Twin Peaks, punk/pop garage rockers from Chicago. http://twinpeaksdudes.com/
Sunday’s festivities start at 9:00 a.m. with a jazz brunch. Soulmen will provide the swinging soundtrack. The Main Stage heats up at noon with Hirt Alpert, followed by Milwaukee’s Dead Horses (featuring vocalist Sarah Vos) at 1:30, hip-hoppers Fringe Character at 4:00, and headliners Ha Ha Tonka at 5:45. These Bloodshot Records roots-rockers, named for a park in Missouri, will bring a bit of the Ozarks to the oak grove of Orton Park.
The Orton Park Festival is organized by the Marquette Neighborhood Association as part of its ongoing efforts to promote community-building and culture. WORT 89.9 FM Community Radio is happy to help spread the good word anytime, everywhere via http://www.wortfm.org.