MONROE — Green County Cheese Days will once again be disrupting the traffic flow and providing a space for thousands of attendees this weekend.
Monroe Police Chief Fred Kelley said the department priority is to ensure that people understand where and when the closures will occur and that individuals understand where accessible spaces will be available.
The occasion generally produces two types of people, Kelley said: those who want to enjoy the revelry and others who make plans out of town to avoid the raucous.
“It’s a mixed bag,” he said, noting the temporary interruptions to lives are generally received without incident. “I think they get it.”
While some downtown areas close early Tuesday morning, others will be last minute on Thursday, just before a concert on the southwest side of the Square.
Other plans include:
The closure of the outside lanes of the north, east and west sides of the Square in addition to the 900 blocks of 16th and 17th Avenue and the 1500 block and 1700 block of 10th Street at 6 a.m. Wednesday.
The closure of the outside lane of the Square at 6 a.m. Thursday. Traffic will be able to use the southwest and southeast corners during the business day.
The closure of the Spring Square parking lot at 6 a.m. Thursday.
The closure of the entire Square and all area within a one-block radius at 5 p.m. Thursday.
The closure of the parking ramp lot at 15th Avenue and 11th Street at 10 p.m. Thursday. The Cheese Days Arts & Crafts Fair will be at the parking lot, which will remain closed until 6 p.m. Saturday.
The closure of the 1500 and 1600 blocks of 12th Street and the 1100 and 1200 blocks of 16th and 17th Avenue at 5 p.m. Thursday until 6 p.m. Sunday. After the children’s parade at 5:30 p.m. Friday, the 1700 block of 12th Street will also be closed.
The closure of the 1200 and 1300 blocks of 14th Avenue at 6 a.m. Friday to ensure the safety of Minhas Brewery tour groups. The street will reopen at 6 p.m. Saturday.
The Children’s Parade, which will leave from the Middle School at 5:30 p.m. Friday, travel north on 16th Avenue to 12th Street by the Suisse Haus, east on 12th Street to 18th Avenue, north on 18th Avenue to 9th Street, then 9th Street west to 16th Avenue, and finally south on 16th Avenue to the Monroe Middle School.
The implementation of motorcycle-only parking after 7 a.m. Friday in the 1500 block of 12th Street. Immediately after the Children’s Parade at 5:30 p.m., the south end of the 1200 block of 16th Avenue will also be used for motorcycle parking for the weekend.
The opening of the farmer’s market on Saturday at 15th Street and 16th Avenue, south of the middle school.
The start of the Cheese Days Chase 5K and 10K runs and the 2 Mile Fun Run/Walk and Kid’s Race at 8:30 a.m. on the south side of the Square.
The implementation of municipal lots in the 1600 block of 8th Street and the 800 block of 17th Avenue and the north row of spaces in the Old Armory Lot at 9th Street and 18th Avenue for vehicles with a handicapped parking permit or plate only from 6 a.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Sunday.
The posting of no parking zones Sunday near the fairgrounds in anticipation of high traffic volumes.
Shutting down traffic along the entire parade route at 11:45 a.m. Sunday, which travels from the county fairgrounds before turning south on 18th Avenue, reaching 11th Street by the post office, turns west on 11th Street and travels along the south side of the Square before turning north onto 16th Avenue and following 9th Street back to the fairgrounds.
The closure of the downtown ATV/UTV routes at 6 a.m. Sunday. Kelley recommended riders park at Orchid along the 300 block of 21st Street and ride the shuttle to the Cheese Days event.
The permitting of open plastic containers of beer or wine in public Thursday through Sunday night. On Thursday night, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and from 10 a.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Areas include the 900 to 1200 blocks of 17th Avenue, the 1000 to 1200 blocks of 16th Avenue, the 1500 to 1600 blocks of 10th Street, the 1500 to 1600 blocks of 11th Street, the 1500 to 1600 blocks of 12th Street, the Spring Square parking lot, and the former parking ramp lot. There will be signs indicating the allowed area.
Kelley credited Cheese Days organizers for the work that goes into the celebration and said the department is grateful for the aid of other officers during the event, including from Lafayette County, who he said are “a big help.”