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Madison's winter clothes drive happening this month

Madison Parks is partnering with Community Action Coalition of South Central Wisconsin, Inc. on an outdoor winter clothes drive Jan. 5-16.

Winter coats, snowpants, boots, hats, scarves, and gloves may be dropped off during operating hours at the following locations:

  • Tenney Park Shelter, 402 N. Thornton Ave.
  • Vilas Park Shelter, 1400 Vilas Park Dr.
  • Elver Park Shelter, 1250 McKenna Blvd.
  • Odana Hills Golf Course, 4635 Odana Road

Operating Hours:

Shelter hours are weekdays 3-9 p.m. and weekends 11 a.m.-9 p.m.Odana Hills hours are weekends 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Click here for more information.

Habitat for Humanity asking for volunteers

Habitat for Humanity is seeking families to build homes in Madison, Sun Prairie, Fitchburg, and Stoughton.

Over the last year, Habitat for Humanity of Dane County has purchased 29 family unit lots in Sun Prairie, 24 lots in Fitchburg and eight lots in Madison.

For individuals and families interested in building with Habitat for Humanity, informational meetings will be held:

Jan. 11, 1-2:30 p.m., Clarion Suites, 2110 Rimrock Road

Jan. 14, 6-7:30 p.m., Clarion Suites, 2110 Rimrock Road

If interested in partnering with Habitat, attendance at one of these meetings is mandatory.

To learn about the program requirements, visit habitatdane.org.

Annual chili cookoff seeks chefs

On Feb. 7 from 6-8 p.m., the Essen Haus, 514 E. Wilson St., will host its second annual Mad City Chili Cookoff.

As many as 20 cooks may enter for the chance to win cash prizes. Organizers said smell, taste, heat balance, texture/mouthfeel and appearance are among this year's judging criteria.

Up to $200 will be awarded to both the judge's top pick and to the people's choice award.

A chili recipe and $20 are needed to enter the competition.

If you would like to enter the contest, email chili.essenhaus@gmail.com.

Entry fee to the event is $10 for adults and free for children ages 10 and under.

Click here for complete details.

City wants to expand car-sharing options

City wants to expand car-sharing options

The city of Madison is exploring options for expanding car-sharing options for residents.

City Parking Utility Interim Parking Operations Manager Bill Putnam told News 3 there is one car-sharing company operating in Madison and another on the University of Wisconsin campus, but neither operation rents spaces from the city.

A public meeting scheduled for Jan. 28 will include presentations from car-sharing companies.

Putnam said they are early in the process of coming up with ideas to bring more companies to Madison and support the concept of car-sharing in the city.

One outcome is the city could request proposals from companies to rent spaces in city lots and garages.

A release from the city states that car-sharing reduces the need for car ownership and can replace as many as nine to 13 individually-owned vehicles, leading the less congestion, demand for parking and emissions.

Enjoy family fun at the Downtown Madison Family Halloween party

On Wednesday, Oct. 29, the city of Madison will be hosting a Halloween party for families to enjoy.

The party goes from 3-6 p.m. at the corner of State St. and the Capitol Square.

There are many free and low cost activities for families and kids 12 and under to get involved with. Some include magic shows, hayrides, crafts, spooky stories, art projects, festive Halloween photos, kids' musical theater, trick or treat at participating businesses and more!

You can pick up a full list of activities and trick or treating locations on Oct. 29 at the Downtown Visitor Center, 452 State St.

Don't forget to show off your spooky costumes at the party as well!

Downtown Halloween fun continues through that week with additional programs at the Wisconsin Historical Museum and Madison Children's Museum. Visit the downtown Madison website for links and information.

Most municipalities set Halloween trick-or-treating hours

Most municipalities set Halloween trick-or-treating hours

When will the ghosts and goblins be out?

Find below a list of the trick or treating hours for communities in southern Wisconsin:

Oct. 31

2014 Halloween event at zoo features costume contest

2014 Halloween event at zoo features costume contest

A free costume contest is just one event at a Halloween celebration at Henry Vilas Zoo next weekend.

Halloween at the Zoo is a free event to the public with a suggested donation of $2, and features free trick-or-treating and an activity tent, according to a release.

There will be five categories for the costume contest and the top three contestants will win prizes. The contest will be from 11 a.m. to noon in the center of the zoo. To enter the costume contest, participants will need to go to the costume contest stage across from the seals and fill out an entry form.

Organizers said the contest will end promptly at noon, but they will accept as many entries as they can. Participants will be judged on creativity, originality and authenticity.

The winners will be announced at 12:30 p.m. at the costume contest stage.

Costume contest prizes: