A Life Long Love

I grew up in nearby New Glarus and fondly recall many childhood trips to Vilas Park for a picnic and visit to the zoo.  I have called Madison home since I began college as a journalism major and stayed tofinish law school as a “Double Badger.”  My wife and I now live on the near west side (with our two Australian shepherds!) and we could not imagine living in a city other than Madison.  There really is no substitute to the beautiful natural spaces we are able to enjoy throughout our city every single day.

We have the Foundation’s predecessors to thank for this legacy.  It’s inspiring to think about how 120 years ago, a small group of civic-minded individuals got together to envision how they could make their City a better place for all, and for generations to come.  Over time, they privately built the public park system that we know and love today.  These founders began simply and humbly.  Penning their intentions into an association charter and hosting annual banquets to build and share their vision.  Today, Madison Parks Foundation renews this tradition with Picnic in the Park – an event to step back in time and celebrate our history, our parks, and a vision for our city’s future.  On October 28th, I look forward to raising a glass with you to toast the legacy of Madison’s parks!


Kyle W. Engelke, Senior Associate at Stafford Rosenbaum LLP & Secretary of the Madison Parks Foundation

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Step Back in Time

The inspiration for this year's theme is drawn from Hoyt Park itself. The park's iconic stonework features design elements from the Arts & Crafts period. 

Starting from the moment you step out of your car Event Essentials will usher you back in time. After handing your keys to the valet you will step through the stone gates that frame the entrance of Hoyt Park. You'll be drawn into the pavilion by the warmth of the fires burning in it's large stone fireplaces. From there you'll venture down a lighted path into the heated parlor tent for cocktails while you wait to be seated for dinner.  The elegant evening will include nods to design elements of the Arts & Crafts movement making you feeling a part of the history of the park.

The Art & Crafts Movement (1880–1910) stood for traditional craftsmanship using simple forms and often used medieval, romantic, or folk styles of decoration, including nature-inspired and wood motifs. Arts and Crafts ideals are seen in furniture and woodwork, architecture, stained glass, leatherwork, embroidery, weaving, jewelry, metalwork, ceramics and more. 

Eat Local, Drink Local, Live Local

Picnic In the Park features dinner prepared with local ingredients by local chefs to support our local parks so it is only fitting that we enjoy local beer as well. 

Alex Evans, Co-Founder of Karben4 and Madison Parks Foundation board member tells us why he and Karben4 support Madison Parks Foundation.

Alex Evans, Co-Founder of Karben4 & Madison Parks Foundation Board Member

Alex Evans, Co-Founder of Karben4 & Madison Parks Foundation Board Member

Karben4 is proud to sponsor Picnic in The Park. We are donating all of the beer for the event so you'll be able to enjoy the local beer we brew along side the delicious food prepared by some of Madison's most talented chefs.

I moved to Madison in 2012 and learned quickly to appreciate Madison's wealth of parks. Myself and my family try to take advantage of them as often as we can. As the co-founder of Karben4 Brewery I've worked to connect our business to the Madison community through job creation and through being involved with local non-profits. I'm excited to part of Madison Parks Foundation Board throughout the year and equally excited that Karben4 is able to be part of Picnic In The Park.