A reminder: Madison’s Rhythm and Booms is different this year. Really different.


I am not a Rhythm And Booms fan, I don’t go to it, and it wouldn’t bug me that much if it disappeared.

I went once in the early 90’s. It was noisy and hard to get out.

So  – – I don’t know that I’m the person to critique how it’s done. That being said, I do expect a high level of freedom, mess, and noise at any event that welcomes John and Jane Q. Public and celebrates their American independence. It’s not my thing to do, but I respect that it is OTHER people’s thing to do.

This year, the event is on John Nolen Drive. That’s not all that has changed.

One may not bring in a carry-in beverage.

One may not bring in many things- – like a thermos or a glass bottle or a cooler or.. go ahead and see that list at the bottom of the page.

Also: I get a little concerned that revelers will be screened by the TSA when I read the following at the F.A.Q.:  “All persons and parcels are subject to search”.

Again, this doesn’t really affect my life. I won’t be downtown. I expect to be watching the pretty exploding sky art from a distant canoe with my “carry-in” beer in hand like a freedom-loving American.

Here is the list:

[gold stars to you if you compare it to the list of stuff banned from the Wisconsin Capitol building!]

For safety reasons the following items are NOT permitted within the Rhythm & Booms event area: ALL of John Nolen Drive, from Olin Avenue to the Williamson/Blair St intersection; Broom St from Wilson to John Nolen Dr; and North Shore Dr from Bedford to John Nolen Dr.
All persons and parcels are subject to search. *There is an assortment of food and beverage stands throughout the venue on John Nolen Drive.*

• Coolers
• Grills
• Food items
• Beverages (except baby formula)
• Plastic, metal or glass water bottles
• Tents, canopies or structures of any kind
• Grills
• Glass containers
• Alcohol
• Thermoses
• Sparklers or fireworks
• Briefcases, backpacks, luggage pieces, or duffel bags
• Wagons
• Animals, reptiles or any type of pet
• Umbrellas
• Weapons (including knives)
• No taping or roping off of large areas
• No overnight camping. Event grounds officially close at 11 pm Saturday.
• Bikes, skateboards or skates – you must walk them in for pedestrian safety. If you ride your bike to Rhythm & Booms, a bike corral is available on the west end of Monona Terrace.

Items allowed to be brought into Rhythm & Booms event grounds include:

• Chairs
• Seat Cushions
• Blankets/Tarps (10 x 10 maximum), towels, sleeping bags & pads
• Cellular Phones
• Sunscreen
• Small Personal Music Systems, radios and televisions
• Binoculars, cameras and camcorders
• Purses
• Baby Bags
• Strollers (only if carrying a child)
• Rain gear (jackets/ponchos)

Please check the City of Madison Parks Department for restrictions at local parks.

Source: the Rhythm and Booms web site


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