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2014 Halloween event at zoo features costume contest

2014 Halloween event at zoo features costume contest

A free costume contest is just one event at a Halloween celebration at Henry Vilas Zoo next weekend.

Halloween at the Zoo is a free event to the public with a suggested donation of $2, and features free trick-or-treating and an activity tent, according to a release.

There will be five categories for the costume contest and the top three contestants will win prizes. The contest will be from 11 a.m. to noon in the center of the zoo. To enter the costume contest, participants will need to go to the costume contest stage across from the seals and fill out an entry form.

Organizers said the contest will end promptly at noon, but they will accept as many entries as they can. Participants will be judged on creativity, originality and authenticity.

The winners will be announced at 12:30 p.m. at the costume contest stage.

Costume contest prizes:

Walnut Grove dog park to open

Starting Monday, Walnut Grove Park, 202 N. Westfield Road, joins seven other parks in the city of Madison as locations for a fenced dog exercise area.

Everyone and their dogs are invited to join Mayor Paul Soglin, Madison Parks Superintendent Eric Knepp and the west side neighbors and dog owners for a special unveiling.

There will be an official 'ball toss' opening at 1:30 p.m. on Monday at the park.

"Madison Parks in committed to providing safe places for dogs and their owners to exercise and enjoy the outdoors. The city of Madison is proud to be ranked number 6 in the nation for off-leash dog parks by the Trust for Public Lands," said Knepp.

Click here to find out the dog park rules.

The cost of the Annual Permit is $30 and the daily permit is $5.

Annual fire trucks parade this Sunday

The annual Dane County Fire Chiefs Association Fire Truck Parade will take place Sunday, Oct. 5.

This popular event is held each year to mark the beginning of Fire Prevention Week in Dane County. The parade includes more than 30 fire trucks from many of the fire departments serving communities in Dane County.

The parade begins at 1 p.m. at the end of State St. near the Library Mall. The trucks, adorned with plenty of chrome and flashing red lights, will travel up State St. to the Capitol Square.

Once at the square, the fire trucks will be on display until 3 p.m. for children of all ages to see up close. Firefighters will be available to answer questions about fire safety. This year, the fire trucks on the square will be joined by the newly-rebuilt Fire Safety House, which has been visiting area schools as part of Fire Prevention Month activities.

Nearly 50 restaurants offer fare for summer's 'Restaurant Week'

Nearly 50 area eateries will take part in a semi-annual area food event next week. 

Madison Magazine's summer season Restaurant Week runs July 20-25. Forty-seven restaurants from Madison, Middleton, Verona and Fitchburg will offer special menus during the week. Each menu features three courses for a fixed price that shows off the eatery's culinary specialty and offers diners the opportunity to sample new or favorite cuisines from local establishments. 

Executive Chef Charles Lazzareschi at Dayton Street Grille in downtown Madison previewed some of the restaurant's planned menu. Dayton Street Grille is offering House Cured Salmon Spring Rolls as one of three appetizer options on the dinner menu. 

Author to perform alien puppet show

Author to perform alien puppet show

A family friendly puppet show is scheduled to take place this week at several Madison libraries. 

Award-winning science journalist Jacob Berkowitz will perform the "Lost Alien Show" about Ambrosia, an extraterrestrial who needs help finding her way home, according to a city of Madison news release. 

The 30-minute interactive theatrical-style show with puppets will take place at: 

  • Sequoya Library, Tuesday, July 15, 2 p.m.
  • Hawthorne Library, Wednesday, July 16, 10:30 a.m.
  • Meadowridge Library, Wednesday, July 16, 2 p.m.
  • Lakeview Library, Thursday, July 17, 10:30 a.m.
  • Pinney Library, Thursday, July 17, 2 p.m.

The "Lost Alien Show" is based on Berkowitz's 2009 book "Out of This World: The Amazing Search for an Alien Earth." Berkowitz more recently released a book about the relationship between Earth and stardust called "The Stardust Revolution," which was published in 2012.

Mounted police horses featured at park meet-and-greets

Mounted police horses featured at park meet-and-greets

The city's equestrian police team is scheduled to make appearances at three parks this month to meet with the community.

The Madison Police Department said its mounted patrol unit will hold "Community Corral" stops on the south, west and northeast sides of the city.

The Community Corral is an informal meet-and-greet event, organizers said.

Police said the park events are "a great way to 'corral' up area neighbors to say hello to the largest four-legged members of the police department."

The mounted patrol is scheduled to stop by from 4-5 p.m. at:

  • SOUTH: Henry Vilas Park, 1602 Vilas Park Drive, near the playground on Monday, July 21
  • WEST: Bordner Park, 5610 Elder Place, on Monday, July 28
  • NORTHEAST: Reindahl Park, 1818 Portage Road, near the shelter on Wednesday, July 30

Elver Park fireworks show to briefly close McKenna Blvd.

Elver Park fireworks show to briefly close McKenna Blvd.

A free family-friendly fireworks event will take place on Madison's west side Thursday night. 

The city of Madison said it will host fireworks at Elver Park at 9:30 p.m., and residents are welcome to arrive as early as 7 p.m.

Organizers said parking will be free in the two lots at Elver Park, however cars will not be allowed to leave the parking lot until 30 minutes after the fireworks show ends for the safety of guests exiting the park on foot.

Some side streets in the area will have temporary parking restrictions Thursday. At about 9 p.m., McKenna Boulevard will be closed to vehicles from Raymond Road to Schroeder Road, the city said. The closure will last until about 30 minutes after the fireworks have ended.

Park visitors are welcome to bring a picnic, however the city said alcohol and grilling are not allowed in the park Thursday. Limited food will also be available at the old shelter, according to the city.