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The Capital Times is involved in a couple of big events this weekend that you shouldn't miss.

Tonight is the 2017 edition of Fighting Bob Fest from 7 to 10 at the Barrymore Theatre on Atwood Avenue. Bob Fest, which has been co-sponsored by The Capital Times in all of its 16 years, is taking a different tack this year. A full list of progressive speakers, including the iconic Jim Hightower and "What's the Matter With Kansas?" author Thomas Frank, will all be on hand for what should be an inspirational evening and then on Saturday Fighting Bob Fest will spread its progressive message at events in Milwaukee and La Crosse.

Meanwhile, on Saturday and Sunday here in Madison, the first ever Cap Times Idea Fest, an ambitious undertaking in the year of our 100th anniversary, will fill three venues on the UW-Madison campus and promises to spur discussion on issues ranging from the economy to sports, from politics to education.

And for those of you heavy into food and Wisconsin's restaurant scene, there will be panels looking at the future of that, too, plus much more — 29 sessions in all spread among three different venues on campus, featuring three U.S. senators, a former governor, prominent national journalists, and many others.

It promises to be an incredible, thought-provoking weekend, aimed at creating discussion about what our city and state are looking at over the coming years. And it will include divergent views from Republicans and independents as well as progressives and liberals. You can decide what ideas make the most sense to you.

This will be the first Idea Fest, but we're hoping that, like Fighting Bob Fest, it will become the first of many to come.

On a personal note, John Nichols and I will talk on Saturday at 3:10 at the Idea Fest about the book we've written about The Capital Times' proud 100 years of newspapering. It will released later this fall, closer to our actual birthday on Dec. 13. Nichols, Progressive publisher Norm Stockwell and I will devote part of our time to paying tribute to the late Ed Garvey, the driving force behind Bob Fest.

There was a special section in Wednesday's print edition of The Capital Times that includes all the information on the schedules and how and where to register right up to the day of the fest. Or, of course, you can go to captimesideafest.com and get all the information on your electronic device.

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This will be a great weekend. Hope to see you at all the events.

Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. dzweifel@madison.com and on Twitter @DaveZweifel

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Dave is editor emeritus of The Capital Times.