Allen Centennial Garden Harvest Festival

Harvest Folk Festival

Please note: The information below refers to our 2023 Harvest Festival. More information to come about our 2024 Harvest Festival, but please mark your calendar for Saturday, September 28, 2024.


Join us on Saturday, September 30 2023 between 12pm and 5pm to celebrate an abundant and diverse harvest! We’ll have live music, dancing, and storytelling alongside opportunities to learn about different harvest traditions from Dejope (Madison) and around the world. Free and open to the public!

This year, our Harvest Festival will focus on the importance of seeds! To help us highlight the topic, we’ll be hosting new opportunities like a seed swap and cooking demonstrations.

The harvest festival’s song, dance, and food celebrates the ongoing Kitchen Garden project which has been highlighting the crops, cuisines, and cultures of our African American, Hmong, Indigenous, and Latinx partners.

The harvest festival also features student research that focuses on the importance of harvest festivals to communities across the globe.

Schedule of Events

Noon – Seed Swap Begins (contribute your own seeds at Noon to have first pick!)

12:30 pm – Seed Swap Opens to the Public (continues while supplies last)

12:30 pm – Chef Yusuf Bin-Rella demonstrates Afrodiasporic foodways

1:00 pm – Natalia Armacanqui and Richard Hildner Armacanqui perform Peruvian and Andean music, dance, and stories

1:30 pm – Hmong Heritage Club performs traditional Hmong music

2:00 pm – Jewop A Capella student group performs

2:00 pm – Norden Haus students perform Scandinavian song and dance (in English Garden)

2:30 pm – Lightning NewRider speaks about his work as a Ho-Chunk farmer, herbalist, and horticulturalist

2:30 pm – Electric Eats Food Truck has meals cooked with ingredients from the Wyman Kitchen Garden available for purchase (while supplies last)

3:00 pm – Chef Francesco Mangano demonstrates Italian foodways

3:30 pm – Atimevu West African Drum and Dance Ensemble performs

4:00 pm – Liz Voz and Jesse Downs perform American folk music on fiddle and guitar

5:00 pm – Festival Ends

*Schedule subject to change*

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get there?

Allen Centennial Garden is located on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison at 620 Babcock Drive. We highly recommend taking public transportation to visit us. Numerous bus routes regularly stop within a few block of the Garden. MetroTransit recommends you plan your route using Google Maps. On the weekend, there is also free parking on campus. Lots 34, 36, and 40 are all near the Garden. More information is available at the University Transportation Services Website here:

What is a seed swap? 

A seed swap is an opportunity to share and exchange seeds you’ve grown in your garden with friends and neighbors. We welcome you to bring seeds you’ve harvested from your garden to share at this year’s Harvest Festival Seed Swap and bring home seeds others have grown. Allen Centennial Garden and Seed Savers Exchange will be contributing seeds as well, so there will be seeds for interested folks to take home, even if you don’t have seeds of your own to share.

Plan to get to the Festival early for the best selection. Those who come at noon with seeds to contribute to the event will have first pick of available seeds when the swap goes live at 12:30pm.

Will food be available? 

Once again, we are happy to partner with the Electric Eats Food Truck here at UW-Madison to offer recipes featuring vegetables grown in our Wyman Kitchen Garden. Taste flavors from Native American, Africandiasporic, and Hmong gardens. These meals will be available for purchase during the festival starting at 2:30pm and while supplies last. Cash payment is preferred, but we will also be able to process credit card payments.

Babcock Dairy Store, located a few blocks away at 1605 Linden Dr., will also be open on Saturday, September 30 from 11am until 4pm. They offer coffee, sandwiches, ice cream, and more.

The Harvest Folk Festival is funded in part by a grant from Wisconsin Humanities, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Wisconsin Humanities strengthens our democracy through educational and cultural programs that build connections and understanding among people of all backgrounds and beliefs throughout the state. The Harvest Folk Festival is also supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Support also comes from Seed Savers Exchange. 

Additional event support comes from the following UW-Madison units:

  • Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures
  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • European Studies Program
  • Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies Program
  • African Studies Program
  • Center for Culture, History, and the Environment
  • Department of French & Italian