Brat Fest spin off organized as political protest - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Battle of the brats: Brat Fest spin-off organized as political protest


MADISON (WKOW) -- The "World's Largest Brat Fest" may get burned by the controversy over the Governor's Budget Repair Bill.

Madison Parks Board Commissioners gave permitting approval Wednesday for a second brat festival during Memorial Day Weekend.

Carrie Dainty came up with the idea for "Alt Brat Fest" after she learned executives and employees from Brat Fest's supplier, Johnsonville Sausage, contributed more than $44,000 to Governor Scott Walker's campaign since 2005.

"There's alternatives to Johnsonville Brats, and our whole focus is local," she said.

The one-day event will be on May 29th in Orton Park, and like Brat Fest, all proceeds will go to charity.

Brat Fest started at Metcalfe's on Midvale 28 years ago. Owner Tim Metcalfe says the event is about helping the community, and has never been about politics.

"We have an agreement with Johnsonville that's been in place for a few years. They donate 150,000 brats to the event. Without them we couldn't do what we do for the charities," Metcalfe said.

Metcalfe says Brat Fest has raised nearly $1 million since it started, and benefits 120 non-profits.

Johnsonville announced Wednesday it will boost its donation, and supply all of the brats for the four-day event. The company has ordered more than 200,000 already.

Alt Brat Fest organizers aren't expecting to draw huge crowds right away; they're predicting about 300 people in their first year.

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