I don't know about you, but this year Memorial Day snuck up on me. Still, I'm glad it's here. It's not the cap on the last weekend in May that it usually is, but comes about as early as it can on the calendar. And since it is here next Monday, we can say "Here comes summer!" that much earlier.
And here comes SummerTimes, our annual introduction to the season. Supplements editor Linda Falkenstein has assembled an informative and entertaining package for you, no matter your taste in activities, just as long as you want to get outside.
Traveling by bike? There's a story outlining the amenities available next to selected state bike trails. Paddlin'? Another story describes six Madison routes and tips for paddling safety. Just want to sit down and eat? There's a story that locates picnic spots in Madison parks - and takeout food spots on the way so you don't even have to cook! Seek adventure on the high seas? Well, Lake Michigan will have to do, and we've got the Third Coast covered.
Then there are the lists: Summer road trips with mileage? Check. Theater events in the Madison area? Got 'em. Special events close to home? Yep. Music shows and festivals? They abound, and we've got them down.
Speaking of music events, please note the 21st Isthmus Jazz Festival taking place on the Memorial Union Terrace June 5 and 6. Many such festivals have exited the schedule in this year of tough times, but the Isthmus Jazz Festival, presented in conjunction with the UW Arts Institute, rolls on. Beside the free performances chronicled in SummerTimes, there is the ticketed event starring Grammy-winning saxophonist David Sanchez at the Union Theater on Saturday evening, June 6. A native of Puerto Rico, Sanchez transcends Latin jazz. Hear what he's up to on his latest album, Cultural Survival, and buy your tickets at the Union Theater box office or online at