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The sights and sounds of summer
John Rossato, Rockford, at right, buys a bag of spinach from the Fields of Promise stand at the farmers market in downtown Monroe Wednesday afternoon. College students Sarah Schmid, left, and Caleb Carr, center, both of Orangeville, work at the rural Freeport farm during their summer break. The farmers market continues through the summer on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. (Times photo: Katjusa Cisar)

For more information about

community events and contacts,

see the following:

• Barn Quilts -

• Belleville -

• Brodhead Chamber of Commerce -

• City of Monroe -

• Green County Fair -

• Main Street Monroe -

• Monroe Arts Center -

• Monticello -

• New Glarus -

• Pedal for Paws -;

• Relay for Life -

MONROE - Summer sneaks in at 12:04 a.m. Friday, June 21 CDT this year.

Summer solstice is the day with the most hours of sunlight during the whole year and heralds the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

If you're not going to stay up that late to celebrate, you can at least usher it in, and make plans to spend the dwindling days of summer with music, free community events, music and the Green County Fair ... and more music.

Live Music Abounds

The Monroe Arts Center begins the summer with its three-day Wisconsin Music Arts Festival, June 20-22, with a performance by Michael Perry and The Longbeds at 6:30 p.m. tonight (June 20) around the historic courthouse downtown. Main Street Monroe is helping making the performance free through its Concerts on the Square program.

The Wisconsin Music Arts Festival continues its performance series with Livingston Taylor, Lucy Michelle and The Velvet Lapelles, and BoDeans at the Monroe High School Performing Arts Center, as well as a series of lessons on the art and business of making music.

Concerts on the Square continues June 28, July 11 and July 25, with X-51 Band, Family Business and Mighty Short Bus.

Brodhead has a Twilight in the Park Concert June 23 with KC and the Ranger. The weekly series runs through July 28, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park. Bands include Down from the Hills Band, Stateline Playboys, Daylight in the Swamp Band and Red Hot Dixie Band.

Farmer's Markets Galore

Nothing tastes sweeter than fresh-picked fruits and vegetables grown locally, and there's a farmer's market - or two or three - every week in Green County, running through mid-October.

Monroe's market sets up every Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning on the Square.

Brodhead's farmer's and potpourri market opens at 9 a.m. at the public library on the first and third Saturdays of each month and at 905 10th St. on second and fourth Saturdays.

In New Glarus, the market is bustling from 3 to 7 p.m. every Thursday at the New Glarus Depot.

Community and Agriculture

Round out your summer memories with some fun events for the whole family. Choose one or two as a destination, or spend the summer touring the county.

The annual dramatic performance of "Heidi" is June 28-30 at the Heidi Folk Festival in New Glarus. The performances are in the high school auditorium. Also going on the same weekend is the Lions Chicken BBQ, Friday, June 28; Taste of New Glarus, Saturday, June 29; and Barn Quilt Day, June 29. The Barn Quilt Tour leaves the New Glarus Elementary School at 9:30 a.m. bound for Albany and Attica and returns at noon.

Fourth of July celebrations will be booming in Brooklyn, Monroe and Brodhead. Brooklyn will offer music, refreshments, children's games, and fireworks at 7 p.m. in Legion Park.

Monroe Recreation and Parks Departments will throw an all-day party with food and concessions throughout Twining Park; softball, slowpitch, and volleyball tournaments; and band shell entertainment including a Monroe City Band Concert in the evening. Fireworks will be at 9:30 p.m.

Brodhead's annual 4th of July Parade starts at noon with fireworks at dusk.

Monticello's Homecoming parade theme for 2013 is "God Bless America, and Monticello, too!!" Homecoming activities run July 11-14 include softball and mud and grass volleyball tournaments; the big Fish Boil at 5 p.m. Friday; and games, races, inflated amusements and the community water fights on Saturday with the day ending in fireworks at 9:45 p.m. on Lake Montesian. The parade at 2 p.m. Sunday features veterans as parade marshals. Free live music performances, the Lion's cheese curds and the Lioness' homemade pies and other food are all weekend long.

Green County Fair is July 17-21 at the fairgrounds in Monroe. The ultimate event in rural areas, the county fair provides 4-H youth exhibits, county-wide judging, animal and cheese auctions, live entertainment, food stands, a demo derby and carnival rides.

Juda Fore Father's Community Celebration rounds out the month on Saturday, July 27. Kids' games and root beer floats are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and dunk tank is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Chicken BBQ will be served. For more information, email darci@

Our Arts and Hobbies, Our gifts

Relay for Life is Friday afternoon through Saturday morning, June 21-22 at the Brodhead High School. For information, call 608-527-2828 or 728-2980.

Albany Lions Car Show offers an impressive variety of vehicles, a great selection of food and drink, great music and many wonderful car enthusiasts having a fun day on June 23 at the Albany Lions Building, 402 N. Cincinnati St. Registration is from 8 a.m. to noon. Awards at 3:30 p.m. go to the Best of Show, Farthest Distance and the Car Club with Most Entries. A food stand and Ag Chest ice cream trailer will be on site. For more information, call 608-751-2895 or email

Like agriculture? Like antiques? Eight Miles of Ag-tiques is going on July 6-7 along Wisconsin 69 between Monroe and Orangeville, Ill. This unique tractor show features machinery of different brands and colors all the way back to the "Good ol' Days." From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, stop along the way to meet the owners and hear their tractor stories. Food stands and craft shows at some stops. For more information, call 815-789-4570.

Belleville Chamber of Commerce's "Storm the Bastille" 5K Run/Walk starts at 9 p.m. July 13 at Main and Frederick streets. The course winds through scenic and historic downtown Belleville - a great way to see the local sights in the cool summer evening. Family fun and music are included.

Nobody wants to miss the Amish Quilt and Consignment Auction, Saturday, July 27 at the Amish Schoolhouse on Wis. 104 at Atkinson Rd. Quilts, quilt tops, pillows and other hand-crafted Amish-made items are in one ring; horse items and other farm equipment consignment are in another ring. Horse-powered, homemade ice cream; food stands; and a bakery will be on site. For more information, call 608-897-8787 or 608-897-2867.

The 12th Annual Pedal for Paws on July 13 is "the Purrfect Bike Tour" in New Glarus, and an After Ride Party at Toffler's, 200 5th Ave. may offer a great way find a little hair of the dog. Funds raised go to support the Green County Humane Society animal shelter.