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Madison – This weekend’s celebration of the City of Madison’s sesquicentennial will feature a diverse range of free events open to the public, Mayor Dave Cieslewicz announced today.

The weekend will kick off with a ceremony on Friday, April 7, at 12:00 pm to officially mark the city’s birthday. That event will include remarks by the mayor and other local officials, as well as musical performances by Mt. Zion Baptist Church choir soloists, and a reading by Andrea Musher, Madison’s poet laureate.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, a Boy Scout honor guard will raise Madison’s flag, a nod to the fact that the city’s official flag was designed as part of a Merit Badge project by local Boy Scouts Rick and Dennis Stone, who will be attending the Friday event.

WHAT: Official sesquicentennial weekend kickoff event

WHERE: Front steps of the Madison Municipal Building (a.k.a. the downtown Post Office)
215 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard
(Rain site: City Council Chambers, Room 201, City County Building
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard)

WHEN: Friday, April 7, 2006, 12:00 pm.

Saturday, April 8, is “Get to Know Your City Day.” On that day, Madison residents and visitors are invited to participate in self-guided tours of historic Madison neighborhoods. The Forest Hill Cemetery will feature a special edition of its cemetery tour that visits the gravesites of various historic Madison residents and public figures. More information on self-guided tours is available online at

The weekend finale is the free birthday bash at Monona Terrace on Sunday, April 9. The day’s events kick off at 12:00 pm with the Madison150 People’s Drum Circle, led by local musician Hanah Jon Taylor, on Olin Terrace. That will be followed by an afternoon full of activities inside Monona Terrace from 1:00 – 6:00 pm. There will be a brief program at 3:00 pm at which the mayor will cut the official Madison birthday cake.

Organized in conjunction with “Celebrate Madison!” the event will offer a wide array of music, film and arts celebrating Madison’s birthday. There will be short films about Madison from Wis-Kino; musical performances ranging from R&B to accordion to Yid Vicious; roaming Civil War re-enactors; activities for kids including balloon making, face painting and origami; and much more. Complete details on the day’s events are available online at

WHAT: Madison’s Birthday Bash

WHERE: Monona Terrace

WHEN: Sunday, April 9.
12:00 pm: People’s Drum Circle (Olin Terrace)
1:00 – 6:00 pm: Birthday Bash activities (Monona Terrace)
3:00 pm: Cutting of the official birthday cake (Monona Terrace)

More information about all the weekend activities is available at


  • George Twigg, 608-266-4611