March into summer at June Dairy Days

MEMBERS OF MARKESAN Community Band play during a past June Dairy Days parade. submitted photo

by Joe Schulz

June Dairy Days will return Friday, June 7 to Sunday, June 9 at Hein Park and will feature live music, a parade, carnival games, and ample varieties and quantities of food.

June Dairy Days is Markesan’s signature event and has been a staple of the community since the 1930s. It is Markesan’s salute to the area’s agricultural past, present and future.

Friday will be the premiere of the new carnival. It’s also going to be wristband night, with $15 all-you-can-ride tickets from 5 to 9 p.m.

Live music will be available both Friday and Saturday.

Friday night acoustic rock/country musician Tom Winkers will perform from 5 to 8 p.m. and the rock group Cherry Pie will play from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Road Trip then will return Saturday to June Dairy Days and will rock the stage from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Saturday night also will feature the night parade at 7 p.m. The parade starts at the north end of Bridge Street and will head into downtown Markesan, through the festival grounds all the way down to Manchester Street, then turn right and end at Markesan High School.

Sunday night will feature the Markesan Lions Club’s Famous Chicken BBQ at 11 a.m. at City Garage on South Bridge Street.

Markesan Area Chamber of Commerce President Scott Mundro said the parade is a huge event, drawing people from all over the area.

“By the time the first floats reach the end of the parade, the last floats haven’t even started,” Mundro said. “It’s a good hour and a half parade. It’s a big parade, the county’s biggest by far.”

The event is being put on by the Markesan Chamber of Commerce, the city of Markesan, the area’s agri-businesses and the Green Lake County Court, just to name a few.

Mundro noted the weekend is Markesan’s salute to its farming community.

“To be able to have a weekend dedicated to our farmers in the area is awesome and it’s so exciting,” Mundro said.

He added June Dairy Days is an important event for the community because farmers often go under appreciated, even though they contribute so much to the state.

“Without agriculture, there’s a lot of things that don’t go on,” Mundro said. “Fruits and vegetables, canned fruits, meat, everything. It all comes from farmers farming.”

He said Dairy Days always takes place in June because that’s when kids get out of school, but because of school closures this winter, students will finish classes the same day the festival begins.

“They normally get out about 3:30 p.m. or so,” Mundro said. “The grounds typically open about 4; they’ll be dying to get out I’m sure.”

He also believes the festival is great family fun for the whole family.

“We see a lot of people from throughout the county come down every year,” Mundro said. “It goes beyond the county. There’s a lot of people from throughout the state who come to Green Lake County.”

Mundro noted the festival wouldn’t be possible without all of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes, “making sure the carnival is lined up, setting up the table and chairs, tents and ordering food.”

He mentioned there are a lot of moving pieces, and the people setting up the festival don’t do it for the money.

“It’s almost entirely volunteers,” Mundro said. “They do it because it’s been around since the [19]30s.”

One of the reasons Mundro loves the event is that it brings the community together for a weekend.

“I see people that I haven’t seen for years,” he said. “Just knowing the community, people plan to come back for that weekend.”