UPDATE: Brat Fest raises $140,000

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UPDATED Monday, May 26, 2014 --- 7:54 p.m.

This year's Brat Fest is a wrap. After four days the fest raised $140,000 for charity, a new record.

There were also 165,870 brats sold during Brat Fest. Up more than 10,000 from 2013's Brat Fest.

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UPDATED: Friday, May 23, 2014 --- 9:45pm

Hundreds took to Willow Island Friday as record crowds attended Brat Fest!
The total number of brats sold on Friday is 54,756
That's up over 2,500 from 2013!

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Posted: Friday, May 23, 2014 ---- 4:15 p.m.

Brats, free live music, beautiful weather; doesn't get much better than that! Thousands of volunteers are taking to the grill this weekend at Brat Fest, and this event really couldn't happen without the help from all of these volunteers, bringing in more than one million dollars to local charities.

From the sizzle on the grill, to the cold hard cash being collected; 3,400 volunteers will be making their way to Willow Island this weekend.

"It's my third year here in Wisconsin and my third year working at Brat Fest so yeah, it's certainly a local tradition that we've attached to," said Scott Sorensen, a volunteer. And Brat Fest needs them, growing in size every year. Starting back in 1983, to show appreciation to loyal customers of Metcalfe's Market.

"It was started by my Dad 32 years ago and it was just a way to say thank you to loyal customers and every year we just get it a little bit bigger and do something different," said Tim Metcalfe, Brat Fest organizer.

Now hundreds of thousands of brats are sold every year, this year- more than 19,000 in just three hours for Take Your Brat to Work Day.

Chad Lasco from Covance, Inc. helped out with the effort, "how many brats did you buy today?" "1,200," he said. "So what are you going to do with all of those brats?" He added, "technicians, we are going to feed our technicians the whole day."

And all the time these volunteers clock is paid out to their favorite charity, helping keep Dane County growing and thriving.

Metcalfe added, "it's about celebrating who we are, we're from Wisconsin; from Madison. It benefits the community and it's just a great thing for Madison."

Organizers had added a couple new things this year too, like camping, and doubling the size of the carnival. Also, a big part of this festival is the music, more than 100 musical acts will be taking the stage throughout the weekend and of course with headliner is Bret Michaels.


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