Sun Prairie is a city in Dane County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. A suburb of Madison, it is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city's population was 29,441 at the 2010 U.S. Census. It is the second-most populous city in Dane County after Madison.
President Martin Van Buren commissioned a party of 45 men, including Augustus A. Bird, to build a capitol for the Territory of Wisconsin in Madison. The group left Milwaukee on May 26, 1837, and traveled for days in the rain. On June 9, the group emerged at the edge of the prairie and with the sun shining for the first time in days, carved the words "Sun Prairie" into a tree. Charles Bird returned to the area two years later and became the first settler.
The Town of Sun Prairie was created on February 2, 1846. The village of Sun Prairie, which grew from that town, was incorporated in an act of the Wisconsin legislature on March 6, 1868. Sun Prairie was incorporated as a city in 1958.
On July 10, 2018, a gas explosion leveled a downtown city block, destroying a bar and a pizza restaurant, as well as damaging the historic old city hall building and multiple other nearby buildings. Bar owner and Fire Captain Cory Barr was injured in the explosion and died as a result soon after.