Yoga, carnival rides, and tunes both contemporary and medieval are on tap for this midsummer weekend's slate of festivities, from Bhakti Fest Midwest and the Stoughton Fair to the National Women's Music Festival and the Madison Early Music Festival. The calendar also includes: Saturday Science at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery; a book reading by Alex Bledsoe; the final exhibit at Grace Chosy Gallery; a production of Les Misérables; the Isthmus Dance Festival Concert; a Triple M anniversary party with Delta Rae; and, more live music from Dirty Disco Kidz, White Mystery, The Family Business with The Jimmys, and Land of Vandals.
NOTEWORTHY: Sheep named Dolly becomes first mammal cloned from adult cell, 1996.
Alliant Energy Center's Willow Island, 7:30 am onward. Also Saturday & Sunday, July 6 & 7
This three-day event is billed as bringing yoga, kirtan music and wisdom workshops to America's heartland. The lineup features inspirational speakers, international kirtan (chanting) superstars such as Jai Uttal and Wah!, and world-class yoga teachers. Follow your bliss.
Mandt Park, Stoughton. Also Thursday, Saturday & Sunday, July 4, 6 & 7
This family-friendly event features everything you're looking for in a fair, plus it takes place in beautiful, Norwegian-ey Stoughton. Carnival? Yep (every day). Fireworks? Yep (Thursday and Sunday, 9:30 pm). Demolition derby? Oh, yeah (Saturday, 7 pm). Lumberjacks? You bet (Sunday 6 pm). Pig wrestling? Need you ask (Friday, 7:30 pm)?
Marriott Madison West, Middleton, 2 pm. Also Saturday (noon) & Sunday (11:30 am), July 4, 6 & 7
The fest celebrates women's contributions to music with shows on two stages, plus workshops and more than two dozen vendors. Main-stage performers include comedians Barb Neligan (Thursday) and Elvira Kurt (Sunday), Afro-Celtic artist Laura Love (Friday), rockers June and Jean Millington (Saturday), and singer-songwriter Melissa Ferrick (Saturday).
Performing Arts Center, Middleton High School, 7: 30 pm. Also Saturday (7:30 pm), Sunday (2 pm) & Thursday (7:30 pm), July 6, 7 & 11
If you still haven't seen the iconic 1980s musical based on Victor Hugo's novel, or last year's blockbuster movie, for that matter, check out Middleton Players Theatre's staging of the travails of Jean Valjean, Fantine, Javert and Cosette. We promise you that "Do You Hear the People Sing?" will bring you to your feet, and that "I Dreamed a Dream" will bring you to your knees.
High Noon Saloon, 9 pm
Blue-eyed soul and gospel-infused rock are just two of Delta Rae's many specialties. The North Carolina band will show off their major-label debut, Carry the Fire, as partygoers blow out 22 candles on 105.5 FM's birthday cake.
Segredo, 10 pm
Celebrate America's entrepreneurial spirit with this homegrown collective of DJs, producers and visual artists, who've launched a clothing line and landed on national music blogs like Hype Machine.
Mickey's Tavern, 10:30 pm
This fiery-haired brother-sister duo are riding high on the latest wave of garage-rock revival, earning glowing reviews from Esquire and Pitchfork. Expect their guitar-and-drums assault to be one of the loudest -- and most satisfying -- sounds of the weekend, fireworks and marching bands included. With the Arge and Non-Travellin' Band.
NOTEWORTHY: U.S. chooses dollar as monetary unit, 1785.
Various UW venues, through July 23
Musicians from around the world will congregate at the UW to study and perform music from the German Renaissance. Highlights of the weeklong fest include a Handel aria competition on Monday (Humanities Building, 7 pm), a Masked Ball with fancy desserts on Wednesday (Memorial Union, 7 pm) and a performance by Calmus Ensemble Leipzig on Thursday (Humanities Building, 7:30 pm). See Music or visit continuingstudies.wisc.edu/lsa/memf for the full schedule.
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 10 am
The theme is astrobiology and deep space in this family-oriented event. You can learn about "The Science of Flashes and Bangs," build your own rocket, and visit with scientists from the NASA Astrobiology Institute and the UW.
Margaret H'Doubler Performance Space in UW Lathrop Hall, 7 pm
Get your summer dance fix in this free concert. It features ballet, African dance, and contemporary dance from the estimable Isthmus Dance Festival faculty, including Li Chiao-Ping, Liz Sexe, Maya Kadakia and Christina Briggs Winslow. A reception follows the show.
Majestic Theatre, 8:30 pm
Two of the biggest winners from this year's Madison Area Music Awards will introduce their new albums to the world at a Saturday-night bash. With Eugene Smiles Project.
A Room of One's Own, 2 pm
The science fiction author reads from Wisp of a Thing, his follow-up to the acclaimed The Hum and the Shiver. The new book returns to the Smoky Mountains for a mythic tale of the Tufa clan. Fiddler Amy McNally will also on hand to provide appropriate Appalachian folk music.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Jentri Colello has lowered her profile in recent years, demanding overdue credit for her bandmates and spending more time working in Taliesin's gardens than she does singing for the public. Watch the whole crew unveil Wildfire, a new album filled with the awesome analog sounds of a vintage Lowrey organ. With El Valiente, Adelyn Rose and Cult & Leper.
[Editor's note: This item has been corrected to remove an erroneous attribution of the musical Les Misérables to Stephen Sondheim.]