UW Hosts Second-Annual Harvest Festival

You’re invited to celebrate Allen Centennial Garden’s second annual Harvest Festival on Sep. 30. The festival is free and open to the public.

The event runs from 12-5 p.m. It will have live music, dancing, cooking demonstrations and storytelling. There are also opportunities to learn about different harvest traditions from numerous cultures around the world.

The Harvest Festival centers around the Wyman Kitchen Garden, completed in spring. The garden highlights the crops and cuisines of African American, Latinx and Native American cultures. Partners from the Native American Center for Health Professions, Trade Roots, and the UW-Madison Department of Plant and Agroecosystem Sciences helped select, plant, and harvest crops. The Wyman Kitchen Garden features a circular shape divided into three sections with plants such as beans, peppers, and squash.

The Harvest Festival kicks off with a seed exchange at 12 p.m., featuring free seeds shared by Allen Centennial Garden, Seed Savers Exchange, and community members. If you’d like to contribute to the exchange, arrive at noon. Seeds will be ready to pick up starting at 12:30 p.m.

Attendees can enjoy a variety of entertainment, including performances and presentations by:

  • Atimevu West African Drum and Dance Ensemble
  • Natalia Armacanqui and Richard Hildner Armacanqui, Andean music and stories
  • Yusuf Bin-Rella and Francesco Mangano, chefs
  • Jesse Downs and Liz Voz, American folk music
  • Madison’s Hmong Heritage Club, Hmong music
  • And many more

UW-Madison student groups will be on hand during the event to share information about food and garden traditions from numerous cultures, including Italian and Scandinavian. There will also be a showcase of student research focusing on the importance of harvest festivals to communities across the globe.

Food will be available for purchase starting at 2:30 p.m. from UW’s Electric Eats food truck, featuring meal options from African, Hmong and Native American cuisines. Cash payment is preferred, but credit cards will also be accepted. 

Allen Centennial Garden is located at 620 Babcock Drive. Free parking is available in Lot 34 at 1480 Tripp Circle; in Lot 36 just west of Steenbock Library; and in Lot 40 behind Babcock Hall.