It’s the granddaddy of all food fests in the Midwest: Green County Cheese Days in Monroe! Mark your calendar for September 18-20, 2020.
Enjoy three days of full-flavored, family fun celebrating cheesemaking, dairy farming and Swiss traditions. It all happens on the Historic Courthouse Square in downtown Monroe, Wisconsin – right where the festival got started way back in 1914.
Right away you’ll sense the cheesy vibe: a procession of cheesemakers at Friday’s opening ceremony, old time copper kettle cheesemaking on Saturday (take a turn stirring with the Swiss harp), and the big Cheese Tent all weekend. There’s even a festival mascot named “Wedgie” who is shaped like a supersize wedge cut from a supersize wheel of Swiss Emmenthaler cheese!
On the cheesy festival menu: gourmet grilled cheese (with secret sauce) from the National Historic Cheesemaking Center, Monroe Optimist deep-fried cheese curds, mac-n-cheese, baked cheese skewers, and cheesecake on a stick made exclusively for the festival at the Swiss Colony Bakery at Colony Brands.
Award-winning cheese isn’t possible without the dairy farm families of Green County! Festival goers can board a bus downtown to visit dairy farms and to meet the farmers and their herds. Kids will enjoy exploring in the Family Farm Adventure Tent, and a Cow Milking Contest on Saturday features a variety of dairy breeds.
The highlight of the Cheese Days festival weekend is Wisconsin’s only parade led by a herd of Brown Swiss cows. You’ll hear bells clanging in the distance long before you see the beautiful bovines march past wearing fancy embroidered collars, imported Swiss bells, and colorful floral wreathes. The Swiss Colony Cheese Days Parade steps off on Sunday, September 20 at 12:30 pm.
Two entertainment stages feature everything from alphorns and yodeling to doo wop and current top cover hits. Returning favorites on the entertainment lineup include yodel master Kerry Christensen, polka masters The Goodtime Dutchmen, Wheelhouse, and the Doo Wop Daddies. Evening headliners for 2020 are Boogie and the Yo-yo’z on Friday, and Bella Cain on Saturday. Throughout the weekend, you’ll also find roving accordion player “Eddie Spaghetti” plus the Alphorn Crew led by Heinz and George. New this year – the University Wisconsin Marching Band will bring their signature “5th Quarter” celebration to the main stage right after Sunday’s parade. There’s also a Kids’ Street on Saturday, with fun and games, and even more free entertainment.