Amber Flanagan's grandparents moved to Milwaukee from Mississippi in the 1960s, bringing with them their culinary heritage and their firm belief in the importance of good eating. Today, Amber carries on their passion for gastronomical traditions by leading walking food tours of the Silver City District and the Historic Third Ward. Milwaukee’s history as a hub for immigrants from all over the world is reflected in the city's diverse ecosystem of restaurants: tours may bounce between Vietnamese, Peruvian, Thai, and Mexican cuisines on their journey. Some restaurant outings incorporate cooking demonstrations, which could otherwise only be glimpsed after donning an elaborate busboy disguise.
Dance Fabulous's instructors think that dancing should be a stress-free experience. With that in mind, they’ve crafted a lineup of commitment-free drop-in classes that introduce students to hip-hop grooves, teach them core-strengthening belly-dance shimmies, and help party away calories with energy-packed Zumba moves. The lineup also includes more sensual classes meant to boost students' confidence, such as aerobic striptease dance and core-strengthening pole dance. During Hot Heels Hour classes, participants learn a new routine designed to be performed in pumps, which help strengthen cores, lift buns, and aerate the front lawn if practiced at home.
In addition to their drop-in classes, the instructors also schedule private lessons, which may cover the styles taught in group classes or focus on ballroom techniques or wedding choreography. Their adult parties come with similar themes, with lessons in styles from break dancing to striptease to Irish step. The studio was also named one of The Daily Page's picks for best places for a kids' birthday party; soirees can center around such themes as cheerleading, West African dance, and ballet. The staff offers a kids' hip-hop classes and a once-a-month family dance party, during which parents can tenderly pass down their ability to do the worm.
In addition to the sense of perseverance and accomplishment that comes with finishing a 5K, the organizers of the Bacon Chase have added another incentive: bacon. During their two races?the 5K Piggy Pilgrimage, which is a traditional 5K, and the 0.05K Blitz to Bacon, which is a 164-foot sprint?runners can munch on unlimited bacon bits before feasting on unlimited amounts of bacon at the finish line. Runners 21 and older can wash down the savory strips of bacon with a bloody mary, and all runners get a Bacon Chase T-shirt and a signature bacon-scented bib. The festival opens at 8 a.m. and features many bacon-themed activities, plus music.
The festive day serves a greater purpose, too. Attendees will be able to register to become a St. Jude Hero, raise money for St. Jude Children?s Research Hospital, or both.
In 1853, with pieces of buff sandstone hauled from a nearby quarry, Able Dunning and his wife erected a Greek Revival farmhouse on University Avenue in Madison. They called the house Mapleside, and it sat for 117 years like a stoic grandmother, surveying the surrounding landscape as spring’s innumerable rows of crops gave way to winter’s barren fields.
After efforts to save the historic building failed, community members joined forces to create the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation. Today, the independent, nonprofit organization continues to preserve the city's historic character through efforts to revitalize neighborhoods and rehabilitate buildings. Its annual activities focus on educating residents about Madison’s past through the buildings that endure as monuments to bygone eras. The hope is that a new generation of activists might be inspired to take up the mantle of preservation after a historic architecture tour of State Street, Bascom Hill, or Bucky Badger’s slowly eroding burrow.
Those who shudder to remember the Shadow Manor Haunted House may want to hide under their beds. For although the legendary haunt may have faded into oblivion, a vastly expanded 7,000-square-foot portal to the profane has risen to take its place. The heinous Dr. Goffman rules more than half the bedeviled romping grounds, a blood-spattered surgeon waiting to terrify his patients, first by performing tortuous procedures, and then later by mailing them their bill. Those who manage to check out must then don 3-D glasses before venturing through a whirling tunnel. The swirling vortex leads to the harlequin-haunted Psycho Circus, where weird clowns caper with tortuous intent, ushering their audience through disorienting neon rooms. To keep the screams coming, Shadow Manor has also added two new attractions, including the evocatively named Slaughter House and a meandering path through a mysterious cornfield and haunted wood.
To winemaker Alwyn Fitzgerald, The Fisher King isn't just a medieval legend; he represents a way of life. According to Arthurian myth, as the wounded Fisher King grew stronger in the spring and into the summer, so did the surrounding land and harvest. Inspired by this relationship between man and Earth, Alwyn founded Fisher King Winery in spite of the Midwest's temperamental climate. There, he hand-processes the local, cold-hardy grapes that give his small-batch wines a light yet complex flavor profile. His decision to use mostly Midwestern grapes in his winemaking process has certainly paid off: his Blue Rapture white wine won a gold medal at the U.S. National Wine Competition, as well as a Best of Class and double-gold award at the International Eastern Wine Competition in 2013.
Outside of Fisher King Winery, a hanging sign with gold letters depicts the company's mythological namesake. Inside, large windows provide a glimpse of the tanks and pipes in the production area, where Alwyn and his family produce their award-winning Blue Rapture wine, alongside other dry-to-sweet red and white varietals. The tasting room's hardwood bar and tables give visitors a place to sip popular wines by the flight, glass, or bottle, and nibble on local artisan cheeses. Fisher King Winery also hosts regular live performances from local and regional musicians.