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posted: 9/9/2012 6:00 AM

On the road: Milking those Cheese Days

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  • The new Green County Cheese Days mascot "Wedgie" is ready to welcome guests to the oldest food fest in the Midwest, Sept. 14-16, in downtown Monroe, Wis.

    The new Green County Cheese Days mascot "Wedgie" is ready to welcome guests to the oldest food fest in the Midwest, Sept. 14-16, in downtown Monroe, Wis.

  • See the keeper's house at Wood Island during Maine's Open Lighthouse Day.

    See the keeper's house at Wood Island during Maine's Open Lighthouse Day.


Lederhosen and dirndls encouraged
An event dating back to 1914, Green County Cheese Days in downtown Monroe, Wis., will offer many time-honored traditions like cheese tasting, live music, dairy farm tours, Swiss entertainment and a parade that lasts more than three hours. There will be all kinds of new activities and entertainment including polka music, learning to yodel, a Friday night street dance, and traditional and contemporary folk music.
3 p.m. to midnight Friday, Sept. 14; 9 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Sept. 15; and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16. (800) 307-7208 or


Bavaria bound
Berghoff is bringing Bavaria to Chicago with its 27th annual Oktoberfest, an open-air celebration with classic German food and revelry. There will be Berghoff's private-label Oktoberfest beer and performances by the Johnny Wagner Band. Other performers include Wedding Banded, Maggie Speaks and Modern Day Romeos. The party continues inside the restaurant all month long through Oct. 6 with traditional German food offerings, festive decor and raffles and special events.
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, Sept. 12-14, at the John C. Kluczynski Federal Plaza, corner of Adams and Dearborn streets. Free.

Smart art
The inaugural EXPO CHICAGO hosts the world's premier galleries, many of which will display new works and works never before seen in Chicago. Browse the offerings by leading international artists. Get in on panel discussions, conversations and artistic discourse with leading artists, curators, designers and arts professionals. Other special exhibitions include: "Eclectic Coherence," a curated exhibition by photographer Dawoud Bey and seminal photos by photographer Gordon Parks.
11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 20-22, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave. One-day ticket is $20; four-day pass is $65.

We are the world
Count on more than 80 artists performing at more than 30 venues across the city when the World Music Festival hits Chicago. The citywide, multivenue, eight-day festival features musicians from around the world.
Friday through Thursday, Sept. 21-27. Times and locations vary. Performances are free but some require tickets.


Quad Cities hosts Celtic Festival
The free Celtic Festival & Highland Games of the Quad Cities brings the best of Celtic sports, music, dance, heritage, food and family fun to downtown Davenport, Iowa. In the Family Entertainment Tent, there will be face painting, mini golf and mini caber toss. Visit the colorful tents and exhibits on Clan Row. There also will be sheepherding demonstrations, rugby, Irish dancers, live music, and Black Hawk Pipes and Drums.
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at Centennial Park in Davenport, Iowa. Free admission. (309) 794-0449 or

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater
More than 80 percent of the world's canned pumpkin is processed in Morton, Ill., near Peoria, home of the Libby's pumpkin-packing plant. The Pumpkin Capital of the World celebrates with its 46th annual Pumpkin Festival with a parade, Pumpkin Idol singing competition for adults and kids ages 8-15, pumpkin bingo, a pumpkin pie-eating competition and the Pumpkin Craft Faire. There are lots of activities for the kids, so tote them along, too.
4 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12; 1 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14; and 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15.

Worth the trip

What's the allure of lighthouses -- romance, travel or mystery? Get your fill of all three at the fourth annual Maine Open Lighthouse Day when many of the state's coastal, island and river lighthouses welcome the public. Nearly 20,000 visitors are expected to visit 22 open light stations and many will opt to climb up light towers for a lantern room view. The largest event of its kind in the country, the seaside experience includes guided or self-guided tours and various activities.
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15.

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