The 34th McFarland Family Festival will take place in downtown McFarland from Friday, Sept. 20, to Sunday, Sept. 22.
Alcohol will be sold for the first time this year. Two commercial beers, a craft beer and spiked seltzer will be available 5-10:45 p.m. in a fenced area around the main tent. Off-duty deputies from the Dane County Sheriff’s Office will be checking identification and provide general grounds security under the tent. Adults 21 and older will be given a wristband. Minors in the fenced area must have permission and be accompanied by an adult.
“The focus is a little bit different this year, just because of how the festival’s evolved in the change of venues,” McFarland Family Festival board member Don Peterson said.
The festival kicks off Friday at 5 p.m. with a carnival and karaoke night. Family and children’s karaoke will be from 5-8 p.m. with high school karaoke from 8-10 p.m.
The annual Car Show N’ Shine will be held at the American Legion Post, 4911 Burma Road, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The event is co-sponsored by Tom’s Auto and Midwest Equipment Specialists.
James the Magician will have magic shows at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and children’s entertainer David Landau will perform at 10:30 a.m. The McFarland High School dance team performs at 12:30 p.m.
Bluegrass band Milkhouse radio will play in the main tent from 5-7 p.m. Saturday. Plugged In, a local band comprised of McFarland primary school teachers, and Scrap Metal Horns will join forces and play from 7-10 p.m. Saturday.
“With the two bands combined, it’s quite a group, and they have a very interesting sound,” Peterson said.
The parade begins at noon Sunday at the intersection of Main Street and Autumn Lane. The parade will proceed south on Main Street through the downtown area before ending at Long Street, half of a block before the railroad tracks. Parade entries will disperse at the four-way stop by Arnold Larson Park.
Following the parade, ‘80s band, The Decade Rocks, will perform from 1-3 p.m. Sunday and contemporary a capella group Deliberate Vibration will follow from 3-4 p.m.
The Kid’s Zone at the E.D. Locke Public Library will feature Infinity Martial Arts and Rise Up Jiu-Jitsu Academy from 5-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday.
The area will also have two bounce houses, and Boulder’s Climbing Gym is providing a rock-climbing wall from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday. The reptile tent is making a reappearance this year with a variety of reptiles to view and handle.
Dog adoption group Ma, Paws, & Me will bring dogs available for adoption Saturday in the library parking lot.
Plans for the carnival rides have not yet been finalized, but wristbands will be available this year. Wristbands will be available for purchase that allows unlimited rides from 5-9 p.m. Friday, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, 6-10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. One wristband can be used per time block.
Local food trucks, some of which have made appearances at the summer’s Lions Club Food Truck Frenzy, will be offer a variety of food and beverage options throughout the weekend.
The festival’s main lot will be located in the Spartan Pizza parking lot. The Municipal Center’s parking lot will be used for the carnival. The library will have children’s activities.
There will be parking available at the United Church of Christ, McFarland Lutheran Church, Conrad Elvehjem Primary School and the village-owned parking lot along Bashford Street.