Beautiful day, beautiful art, beautiful fair (copy)

The Madison folk band Vardo performs on the Sauk County Courthouse steps during last fall's Fair on the Square in downtown Baraboo.

News Republic file photo

Fair on the Square will offer four events in one Saturday.

The twice-annual festival will combine the traditional arts and crafts fair with other events celebrating downtown Baraboo institutions. A Baraboo Fire Department open house, Al. Ringling Theatre tours, a farmers market and the official opening of Downtown Baraboo Inc.’s pop-up shops will highlight the event.

“We worked really hard to collaborate with those entities,” said DBI event organizer Mary Hultman. “It’s becoming more of a community event.”

Each spring and fall, the group hosts artists, crafters and food vendors on the courthouse square. About 140 vendors are expected Saturday. Local musicians Mike Droho and Leah Rachuj will perform, as will juggler T.J. Howell.

Reviving a dormant tradition, WRPQ will broadcast from the fair Saturday. “We’re always trying to come up with new ways to make it different, and improve it,” Hultman said.

“There’s a lot of interest in the community from outside Baraboo,” she said. “People are looking to come to Baraboo now more than ever. We have to keep it fresh and offer them things to do.”

New this year is the arrival of pop-up shops, featuring fledgling businesses that will get a chance to operate from downtown storefronts. DBI and sponsors are paying the rent for three businesses – Lodge Coffee Roasters, Urbanwood Studio and From My Porch – to do business downtown for the year’s final quarter.

“It’s a way to add some excitement, some new shops during the holiday season,” DBI president Lacey Steffes said last month. “It gives them some exposure and creates more traffic downtown.”

Lodge Coffee Roasters, which specializes in hand-roasted coffee, will get its first shot at operating a brick-and-mortar store, after starting with online sales and farmers markets. Urbanwood Studio designs and creates hand-sanded wood furniture. From My Porch sells repurposed home décor.

Fair visitors can check out these new shops, the farmers market, the firehouse and the theater. “We want to give them an experience,” Hultman said. “We want them to spend the day and tell their friends.”

Follow Ben Bromley on Twitter @ben_bromley