Take Your Brat to Work Day kicks off Brat Fest

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- 'Take Your Brat to Work Day' officially kicks off the start of Brat Fest, an event that brings the community together each Memorial Day weekend.

People have a chance to come to Alliant Energy Center's Willow Island and pick up a brat or a bag of brats to take to work for 'Take Your Brat to Work Day,' from 6 to 9 a.m. NBC15's Morning Show will broadcast live from the event.

32,381 brats in three hours were sold.

"We have more grills here," Kevin Metcalfe, of Metcalfe's Market, said. "And we reconditioned all our grills so we are going to be able to cook much better this year."

Volunteers for Brat Fest come from more than 130 groups that donate their time to the event. "We're very thankful for that and you know it does go to a great cause," Metcalfe said.

John Kraak, a volunteer, said he's giving his time to Brat Fest to help raise money for the Dane County Humane Society, "I volunteer a lot there doing wildlife rescue and rehab. Everything from baby humming birds to Bald Eagles."

Mike Lee talked to our team after he'd waited in line for about 45 minutes for brats. Time, he said he was happy to spend at Take Your Brat to Work Day.

“I got 49 regular brats, five hot dogs, five roast veggies and six chicken chipotle,” said Lee.

Steve Krallis from Monona volunteered to pick up brats for his whole office.

“I’m a really popular guy at about 9 o’clock on Friday,” said Krallis.

Over the past 36 years Brat Fest has raised nearly two million dollars to help more than 100 local charities and the head of Brat Fest, Tim Metcalfe fro Metcalfe's Market said grillers will be cranking out 12,000 bratwurst per hour.

In 2018, 33,640 brats were sold during the three-hour event. Since 1983, the World’s Largest Brat Fest has sold more than 3.8 million brats.

After the kick off event, Brat Fest festivities start at 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. "We've got 70 musical acts, we've got a kids zone, sports zone...a lot of fun family things," Metcalfe said.

Smash Mouth is the headliner for Friday and Chris Kroeze from 'The Voice' will perform on the Brat Fest stage at 4 p.m. Plus, SuperTuesday. Madison Country and many more.

There is also a special 'Sherk' costume contest for Smash Mouth's performance. "It starts at 3 p.m. It'll be fun to see that," Metcalfe said.

For more information on Brat Fest: click here.