Monday, September 15, 2008

Come to Cheese Days!

Sing it with me!

Come to Cheese Days in Monroe.
That’s the place for you to go.
Music, dancing, yodeling, too.
And a big parade for you.
And we know you will be pleased.
When you taste Green County Cheese.
Come to Cheese Days, come to Cheese Days,
Come to Cheese Days in Monroe!

Every other year, Monroe is home to the oldest food festival in the Midwest. We don't call this blog "Cheese Country Realtors" for nothing. The area around Monroe is dotted with cheese factories, and this coming weekend, September 19-21, is their time to shine.

The Square will be filled with festival attractions. The popular Cheese Tasting Tent is always the big draw on the west side. The south side of the Square is home to the stage and the ever popular Optimist's Cheese Curds stand. Get in line early for your cheese curds tickets, and remember to bring your patio chair to enjoy the acts on the stage for a while. Food vendors, crafts and hospitality tents usually line the north and east sides.

Cheese Days is too big to be contained on the Square, so venture farther afield. The Swiss Post Bus Trolley will be running continuous loops with stops at Minhas Craft Brewery, the Cheese Days Arts and Crafts Fair, Turner Hall, and the downtown parking ramp. From the parking ramp, riders can transfer to the Park & Ride Shuttle Bus with free parking at Shopko and Wal-Mart. The carnival midway is usually in the parking lot half a block south of the Square, behind Dr Healy's Eye Care and in front of Suisse Haus.

New this year are artisan demonstrations at the Arts and Crafts Fair near the Monroe Middle School, a display on the history of Cheese Days at Monroe Arts Center, and a Cheese Days Limerick Contest. Returning crowd-pleasers include the cow milking contest, polka lessons, old time cheesemaking demonstration, arts and crafts fair, vintage car and tractor show, carnival, retail tent with commemorative Cheese Days merchandise, "Berghoff and Blues" with live blues and cool brews at the nearby Minhas Craft Brewery, and the "Heart of Cheese Days" exhibit sponsored by Monroe Swiss Singers at Turner Hall.

Enjoy "Family Farm Adventure" sponsored by Green County Farm Bureau. Kids and families will blast open the barn doors to an exciting "ag-venture" where they can meet dairy calves, discover what a cow eats and drinks, learn how cheese is made, "milk" a cow, and test their knowledge of ag facts with fun games and prizes.

The event is capped off by the enormous and enormously popular Cheese Days Parade. Beginning at 12:30 on Sunday and running for about two hours, the extravaganza features drum corps, horses, clowns, and a variety of entertainment. The parade is led off by decorated Brown Swiss cattle, followed by many floats paying tribute to Swiss heritage, cheesemaking, and the dairy farming legacy of Green County. It is a huge event, drawing participants from as far away as Chicago and Milwaukee.

Visit the Official Cheese Days website for a full schedule of events.

You can even listen to the Cheese Days Song to brush up on your warbling.

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