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Terrace chairs will make their return to the Memorial Union Terrace April 14

Posted: 04/13/21

Terrace chairs will make their return to the Memorial Union Terrace April 14

The Wisconsin Union’s Terrace chairs will return to the Memorial Union Terrace April 14, marking the start of Terrace season 2021.

Terrace time will begin with access temporarily limited to current University of Wisconsin-Madison staff, faculty and students. This limited access will continue until further notice due to the currently active Badger Badge Program. This campus-wide measure requires that patrons have Badger Badges, which are only available to UW-Madison staff, faculty and students, and that the Badges show "building access granted" status. The Badge status is determined based on regular, on-campus COVID-19 test results or vaccination status.

To access the Terrace, current UW-Madison staff, faculty and students must enter Memorial Union through the east entrance of the building between Peet’s Coffee and Badger Market. There, a team member will verify each patron’s Badger Badge status.

The Union team looks forward to when it can welcome all of its Wisconsin Union members and guests to the Terrace. It will share information about future access changes as well as other Terrace season information at, as these updates become available.

“We can finally announce that it’s Terrace time again,” Deputy Director Susan Dibbell said. “Terrace season is a time we look forward to every year, but this year feels more important than ever, because the Terrace has always been a source of respite and happiness, both of which so many of us could use right now.”

Terrace patrons can enjoy the outdoor space’s seating on a first come, first served basis. The Union team requests that guests not move tables and chairs from their designated locations. The team designed seating to aid in physical distancing. Guests must wear masks and practice physical distancing while at Memorial Union, including the Terrace. UW-Madison students, staff and faculty with Badges that show building access granted status can also still use seating inside Memorial Union.

The seasonally open dining option on the Terrace, called the Brat Stand, will open on April 15, joining the Union’s interior, year-round dining offerings at nearby building Memorial Union, which include the salad and sandwich shop Carte, the Italian streatery Strada, the pub food destination der Rathskeller, dessert café the Daily Scoop, Peet’s Coffee, and the one-stop-shop for essentials and grab-n-go food and beverages the Badger Market. The Brat Stand’s menu includes brats, burgers, grilled chicken and locally-grown corn on the cob, Beyond Sausage vegan brats, and a variety of beverages.

Patrons can order food through Grubhub for pick-up at the counter of a restaurant, market or café or order at a dining option. Guests can also order food for pick-up through a kiosk from der Rathskeller or Peet’s Coffee.

The Wisconsin Union team is committed to maintaining safe, clean facilities. In addition to its usual rigorous cleaning efforts, the Union has instituted many additional practices in light of COVID-19, including mostly cashless payments, providing table self-cleaning stations for Terrace visitors, and the removal of self-serve condiments and beverages options. The Union team also cleans and disinfects shared spaces regularly through each day as well as before the building opens every day.

The first Terrace season occurred in 1929. Since its debut along the shore of Lake Mendota, generations of Wisconsin Union members and guests have made the Terrace part of their Madison summers. The Terrace includes more than 20,000 feet that serve as a destination for dining and entertainment, including free film showings and free, live music. The Wisconsin Union team will share information about 2021 Terrace season programming, as updates become available, at

The Terrace chairs have evolved since 1929, with the current metal chairs bearing no resemblance to their first wooden iteration. The initial rustic, wooden chairs did not withstand Wisconsin’s weather and frequent use. The chairs underwent several redesigns before debuting in their current form: as durable, metal chairs painted yellow, green or orange and with sunburst-like designs on their flat, smooth backs and seats. The trademarked chair design has become a widely recognized symbol of not only Terrace season but also of Madison.

From its beginning more than a century ago, the Wisconsin Union has been a member organization that all can join, including those with no UW-Madison affiliation. Members enjoy many benefits, including discounted tickets to Wisconsin Union Theater performances and discounted art experiences with the Union’s art studio Wheelhouse Studios.

While members and visitors await expanded Terrace access, they can still access on-demand, virtual activities, such as making Wisconsin Union recipes at home, as well as online events, such as Wisconsin Union Theater performances and art classes.

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