Thursday, June 26, 2008

Concert on the Square

Monroe Main Street is promoting a new Concerts on the Square series this summer. These concerts were extremely popular last year, and they are back by popular demand. There have been two scheduled for each June, July and August.

The first June concert has already happened, but the second takes place tonight. The Stateline Playboys takes the stage on the north side of the Square at 6:30 for a two hour concert with the theme of A Trip Through Rock-and-Roll History. Boxed suppers will be offered by the downtown restaurants, and many of the downtown merchants will be open until 6:30.

The July concerts will be on July 10 and July 24. July 10 brings us Saxtet Plus - Best of the Big Band Sound. If you like big band, be sure to come out for this one! They feature five saxophones, six to eight brass, full rhythm section, and a vocalist. Personally, I love swing and big band, so I am really looking forward to this one. Clear Blue Betty returns on July 24 for an encore of last year's tremendously popular performance. Energetic and upbeat, Clear Blue Betty's music is sure to get your toes tapping and bring a smile to your face.

Bring a lawn chair or a picnic blanket, pack up dinner or buy a boxed supper, bring the kids or come alone, but come out to Monroe's square for these concerts. They are high quality, free entertainment in our own backyard.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Have you heard of the most recent spin on the treasure hunt? Called Geocaching, it is a great way to spend some time outside.

Geocaches are small boxes hidden on public lands. They usually contain a log book and a selection of small trinkets. To track them down, you need a portable GPS unit and a free memebership on Log in, find a site in your area, enter the coordinates into your GPS unit and go! When you find one, write a comment in the log book, take a trinket from the box, drop a trinket of your own in, and then enter the find on the website. Even though you have the coordinates, it is still a treasure hunt because not all of the boxes are easy to locate. The coordinates usually get you within 15 feet or so, and the cache might be tucked in a tree, hidden by a log or under some brush.

There are a surprising number of caches hidden in and around Green County. There are multiple caches by each Albany, Brodhead, New Glarus, Browntown, Yellowstone Park and Monroe, plus sites in Clarno, South Wayne and more. The sites range from easy ones like the site in Albany's cemetery to trail hikes through state parks, bushwacking through public hunting grounds and even one cache just north of Winslow that recommends a boat and climbing equipment.

If you go, be sure to bring books for identifying trees or flowers. It is a nature walk with a purpose. Explore a little of your backyard in a new way. Did you know there is a grave in Green County of a Civil War Confederate Soldier? I didn't until we went Geocaching.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Property of the Week

This week's featured property is a commercial building in Monroe.

Space, space and more space. If this is what your business needs, come spread out in this commercial building just off of Monroe's downtown square.

You will have all the room your business needs with nearly 4500 square feet of commercial space spread out over two floors. The location is superb, just one block off of the square on a busy corner next to the library. Off street parking insures that your customers will always be able to find a spot to park, giving your business an edge over other downtown businesses. Combine this building with the available parking lot across the street for even more parking space if warranted.

Updates have been done inside in recent years, including a new furnace, new water heater and more.

If this is more space than your business needs, the zoning allows for residential use as well. Convert the upstairs to apartments and earn additional income on your investment.

This is a fantastic opportunity to buy property near the bustling downtown. Be sure to come view this space if you are looking for a new home for your business!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What's that in the sky?

It is time again for one of the most interesting Monroe area traditions - the annual hot air balloon rally. The four day event runs from June 12 through June 15 this year.

Twice a day, weather permitting, the majestic hot air balloons float through the sky on their way towards the fairgrounds. They seems to brush the tops of the trees and houses as they are steered towards the landing targets. Those of us on the ground can sit on our porches, watch for our favorites and listen to the whoosh of the torches. Up to ten balloons will launch at 6 am and 6 pm on Thursday and Friday. Eleven more will come for the weekend, filling our skies with up to 21 balloons. On Friday and Saturday at dusk, the fairground fields will fill with tethered balloons for the traditional balloon glow. It is a beautiful sight.

Area events coordinate with the balloon rally as well. Friday night is the annual Pork Producers dinner at the the fairgrounds.

Saturday is the Taste of Monroe, car show and craft fair on the Square, along with the weekly farmer's market. (Oh do stop by the farmer's market! The romaine lettuce last week was amazing!) Some of the balloon pilots are usually present on the square with their baskets and torches. Children and adults alike enjoy meeting the pilots and talking with them about the balloons, trying out the baskets and seeing the torches go off up close. At 10 am, the Genealogy Society will have a cemetery walk to explore Monroe's history.

Sunday morning brings a pancake breakfast sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce along with the craft fair at the fairgrounds.

The balloon rally to us means summer is truly here at last. Fireflies dance, balloons bob on the breeze and torches flare as we visit with friends and neighbors. Come out and enjoy summer.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Deli-ghtful Dining

If you are looking for a place for a quick yet satisfying lunch, skip the fast food. Visit to Monroe's Downtown Square and the Garden Deli.

The Garden Deli is the perfect spot to grab a quick bite to eat. It takes no longer than the chain fast food joints, yet the food is a world apart. Sandwiches are made to order from fresh ingredients. I am big fan of the turkey with spinach and provolone on whole wheat. They also offer white buns, sourdough, french and croissants for bread choices. Get the sandwiches hot or cold, whatever trips your trigger. In the colder weather, they do a brisk business with their soups and baked potato lunches.

The Garden Deli moved to larger quarters a few years ago, and you will understand why if you stop in during lunch time or before downtown events like last year's Concerts on the Square. The line can stretch nearly to the door, but the crew behind the counter flies and orders are taken and filled quickly. The smiling woman with the strawberry bob behind the counter is the owner, so say hi and let her know you appreciate the quick, quality food.

After your lunch or if you are simply in the market for a treat, try the ice cream! Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream is a local product, made only hour away in Madison. Rich and creamy, it is a premium product that is worth the occasional indulgence. Waffle cone, cake cone, sugar cone or bowl? All are options. Pick some up, sit on the outdoor cafe tables or cross the road and sit on the grass under the shade trees on the courthouse yard. Spend some time talking and people watching while the kids run around.

Take a small break from your travels or from your day. The Garden Deli is worth the stop and lunching here will recharge you like no fast food burger ever will. You can find it at 1624 11th St, on the south side of Monroe's Downtown Square. It is a short drive from either Highway 69 or Highway 11/81, less than five minutes from either. Swing by; it is worth it.