On Friday, Sept. 16, through Sunday, Sept. 18, crowds of hungry dairy enthusiasts will flock to the town of Monroe, Wis., for the festival known as Cheese Days, leaving only the lactose intolerant at home.
This year the festival features an array of wonders both gastronomical and musical, including renowned cheese curds, a master yodeler, several accordion bands, and a Swiss dance troupe. Events range from the Swiss Colony Cheese Days Parade on Sunday, an encore appearance by the reigning Limburger Queen of Wisconsin, a cow milking contest and a 5K run known as the “Cheese Days Chase.”
In 1914, several townspeople from Monroe attended Sauerkraut Day in Forreston, Ill., and returned with an even better idea for a food-based bonanza. The first Cheese Days festival featured over 13,000 cheese sandwiches sold and has continued to grow in delicious bounty and delightful entertainment.
Green County has more than a dozen creameries and produces more than 50 kinds of artisan cheese, including the town of Monroe, which is the only domestic producer of Limburger cheese in the country. In 1965, the much-loved Cheese Days song was written to the melody of a popular Swiss number and is now available online featuring the yodeling prowess of Martha Bernet.