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Festival Overview

Madison Chautauqua to offer
alcohol tent for the first time

Mad Paddle Brewery to sponsor,
operate the ‘8 Decades Tent’

(Sept. 21, 2018) – Perhaps the biggest change to the Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art is the addition this year of a beer and wine tent. Yes, you read that right: Alcohol will be available for sale for the first time in the festival’s 47-year history.
The “8 Decades Drink Tent,” so named to mark the time of prohibition, will be set up on Elm Street between First and Second street, right next to the Lanier Mansion’s North Lawn. It is being strategically placed there so that customers of the tent can purchase a drink and then walk a few feet to sit and listen to live music on the Lanier Mansion North Lawn Stage, according to organizers.
“The festival committee is using the tent as a sort of fundraiser,” said festival co-coordinator Amy Fischmer. The committee will receive a portion of the proceeds from the sale of alcohol.
The tent is being sponsored by Jerry Wade and his Mad Paddle Brewery, which is being developed at a former feed mill on West and Second streets in Madison. The brewery has a projected opening of Saturday, Nov. 17, after Wade overcame previous regulatory setbacks that temporarily delayed the project.
The first batches of beer, Wicket Blonde Ale, have been produced over the summer at New Albanian Brewery in New Albany, Ind., until Mad Paddle completes construction of its own brewing equipment later this fall. A second beer, Three Turns Session I.P.A., was recently added to the selection of Mad Paddle’s brewed products. Wade said he hopes to begin making small batches of beer in December. Full scale brewing is expected to begin in April 2019.

Photo by Don Ward

The Food Fest area of the Madison Chautauqua is a popular place around lunch time.

Wicket comes from the Wicket dams that used to dot the Ohio River. Three Turns comes from a point in Hanover near Madison of which is the only location on the Ohio River of which you can see three turns in the river.
Wade said the 8 Decades Drink Tent will offer both Mad Paddle beers, red and white wine from Simmons Winery of Columbus, Ind., and Thomas Family Winery of Madison.
And since Madison is able to boast two other local wineries on the Indiana Wine Trail, a map leading visitors to Lanthier Winery and Madison Vineyards will be on display within the 8 Decades Drink Tent, Fischmer said.
“We are very excited to join the Madison Chautauqua and be able to offer beer and wine to their customers. It’s also a great opportunity to promote our new Mad Paddle Brewery and our new beers,” said Wade, 59, a New Castle, Ind., native who recently moved from Indianapolis to Madison to start his new business.
The brewery is being developed at what was previously the West Street Art Gallery at 301 West St. Prior to that the 12,000-square-foot building housed Irwin’s and later Lamson’s Feed Mill. In fact, that’s where the name, Mad Paddle, came from – Mad for Madison and Paddle for the grain paddles that were used in the feed mill but are also used in brewing. Wade bought the building last spring and has since been working with local contractors to turn the large structure into a microbrewery, complete with inside and outside seating.
Meantime, the Chautauqua’s Special Event this year will feature the theme “Art in Motion,” Fischmer said, with various artists setting up to exhibit and demonstrate their talents on the Lanier Mansion South Lawn. The Art in Motion area will feature up-and-coming spray paint artist Tyler Emery of Holton, Ind. He’s a recent recipient of the 2018 On Ramp Fellowship. Local painter Kevin Carlson will be painting en plein air and local book, and papermaker Alice Jane Smith of Madison will be demonstrating her bookmaking techniques.
Returning to the festival’s Special Event is blacksmith John Steppe of Prairie Creek, Ind. He will be manning a live forge and will even show spectators how to operate it. Other participants include Lisa Pelo of Hot Blown Glass in Clayton, Ind. She will be demonstrating her method of glass blowing. Meantime, Tony Brewer, executive director of the Spoken Word Stage at the 4th Street Arts Festival in Bloomington, Ind., will be performing poetry on demand.
The popular Chalk Walk returns for its third consecutive year, along with the Children’s Activity Tent.
The Food Fest area along the Madison riverfront is a popular stop within the festival. New this year is Rock n’ Roll sushi. Alan Le will be recognized by the locals as one of the beloved sushi chefs from Sakka Blue. Fistful of Tacos and wood fired pizza by Chubby Churros are also new to the food lineup.
This year’s Chautauqua festival features 219 juried exhibitors from across the country. While there, visitors can check out the new souvenir items offered for sale. In addition to commemorative posters, T-shirts and hoodies, magnets depicting this year’s poster art by local artist Brenda Shropshire, and Madison Chautauqua hats will be available for sale.

• Don Ward is the editor, publisher and owner of RoundAbout. Call him at (812) 273-2259 or email him at: info@RoundAbout.bz.

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