Bratfest 2010: Brats, beers, bands, and more brats

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So, I've lived most of my life in Wisconsin... as such, I've eaten my fair share of brats - in fact, there's a story that involves me, seven brats, and a fourth of July celebration, but that's best saved for another time.

But as much as I consider myself a true "Sconnie" (Wisconsinite), I'd never heard of Bratfest until this year. Apparently, it's been taking place since 1983, and has really "taken off" in recent years. What started as a small bratfry in a grocery store parking lot has transformed into a record-setting 4-day festival that includes 200+ music acts, a carnival, fireworks, and over 200,000 brats served.

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I met-up with Jed and his wife Jamie (sorry if I'm spelling her name wrong!), and promptly made my way over to the "heart" of the affair - the brat tent. Bratfest does a smart thing and sells their brats at a reasonable price - $1.50 will get you your choice of: a brat, a veggie brat, a hot dog, or a soda. For $3.00, you can get the infamous "Double Johnny" (two brats on one bun).

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In addition to the intelligent pricing scheme, the logistics of Bratfest are excellent. They can move a ton of people through the lines without much delay - we stood in line for maybe 45 seconds, placed our orders, and were walking away with a bag full of brats in no time. Ballparks and other events should study this festival - the efficiency is top notch. How do they do it? Here's the grilling station, affectionately known as "Tastyville" - they had about 50 people grilling brats non-stop on more than 20 5-foot-long grilles in this area.

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With brats and beverages in hand, we made our way to one of the three music stages, staked out a spot, and listened to a few bands. My only issue with the entire event stems from the music - the sound systems weren't loud enough (we could barely hear the band), and there wasn't enough seating available. Other than those two minor gripes, the event was quite enjoyable. Here's me and my brat, listening (sort of) to a band:

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We stayed until about 8:30 or so; the festival closed at 9:00pm. Definitely a good night - it's always great to see Jed and Jamie; throw in some brats, beverages, and bands and you've got a winning combination. Speaking of winning combinations, it looks like Bratfest is on track to break another world record - as of last night, they had sold 172,600 brats, and only need to sell another 36,000 today to beat their previous best.

Learn more about Bratfest here - there are some interesting stats!

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This page contains a single entry by Steve published on May 31, 2010 11:55 AM.

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