Who knew that there was a vibrant traffic in dinner with strangers going on about the area? Well, features editor Linda Falkenstein, for one, and in her role as resident food editor she has given us a tour of communal dinners open to the public at large that take place in Madison and some other local towns. "Let's Have a Meal Together" describes folks finding comradeship and community around the dinner table.
There are other things we do communally, like bike riding. But it's not the group touring aspect of cycling that's on display this weekend at Badger Prairie County Park, but the competitive aspect. USA Cycling hosts the national Cyclo-Cross Championships for the second year in a row in the Madison area, and you are invited to spectate. You can get all the details for the races, under way as you read this, in the supplement accompanying this issue.
If we like to eat together, we really like to drink together. The Isthmus Beer & Cheese Fest, set for Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Alliant Energy Center, combines both. This popular annual event features hundreds of Wisconsin beers and cheeses for the tasting. An innovation at this year's fest is the Special Guest brewer. The inaugural Special Guest is John Legnard, master brewer at Blue Moon Brewing Co. from some place called Colorado.
Details of the event are contained in the ad on the back page of this issue. But know this: Tickets are going fast, and we expect a sellout, so do not tarry. You should also check out the VIP option, more information on which can be found at IsthmusBeerCheese.com. There's also a special arrangement with Union Cab for rides to and from the event. We don't want you behind the wheel if all that sampling is making you tipsy. There are no barriers to joining the beer-and-cheese community. You'll be glad you did.