"Here Comes Summer" is an old pop ditty that reverberates through our collective brain here at Isthmus central every year at this time. Although according to the calendar, summer starts June 21, we respond to our publishing schedule, which says, "Memorial Day weekend? Here comes SummerTimes."
You'll find SummerTimes with your paper this week, just in time for said holiday. You'll need the extra time to bone up on your summer plans, which you can construct from the voluminous info contained within its pages. Or maybe you'll just wing it, relying on your SummerTimes to keep you abreast throughout the season.
The first big event of the summer, at least around here, is the Isthmus Jazz Festival, June 7-10. The festival monopolizes one of the rare slow weekends on the Memorial Union Terrace. The setting is idyllic, and the music is free (except for Saturday night headliner Madeleine Peyroux). However, if you'd like to support the free entertainment, the opportunity is open to you to become a sponsor of the festival by paying $100 for a special patron ticket. And patronage, as it has through the ages, has its rewards. In this case, the benefits consist of free parking (very desirable), reserved seating (same), a Memorial Union guest pass (you need it to buy beer) and food and beverages samplings. There are a few other perks as well. So please consider investing $100 in something you can get for free and some things you can't get at any price. To order, call the Union box office at 262-2201, or go to www.uniontheater.wisc.edu. You can also get there through www.isthmusjazzfestival.com.
As for the rest of the season, SummerTimes has something for you to do every day. Supplements editor Linda Falkenstein, with some help from her friends, has put together a 102-day to-do list, stretching from this weekend's World's Largest Brat Fest clear through Labor Day. It's an informative and entertaining conceit, bringing you an extensive summertime agenda.
There's a lot going on in Wisconsin in the summer, and don't we just love it. So after you get through the 102 days of local distractions, check out our state list of festivals and happenings. Zooming in for a closer look, contributor Dana Slowiak takes us on a "Grape Escape": a tour of southern Wisconsin wineries. Escaping Wisconsin, but just barely, Mary Ellen Gabriel takes us to the river, as in the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa.
With all this and more in SummerTimes, you can't say we haven't set you up for a good time. The rest is up to you.