Colby hosts Cheese Days this weekend
The 54th annual Cheese Days returns to Colby this week to bring three days of community, tradition and fun.
The annual festival starts Thursday night with the Cheese Days Book and Movie Sale at the Lions Shelter. The sale runs from 5 to 8 p.m. on July 18 and starts up again Friday at 9 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. The final day of the sale is Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring a special bag sale.
Friday night is when things really get rolling, with food stands opening at 5 p.m., and carnival rides and beer sales starting at 6 p.m. This year’s food court menu includes everything from cheese curds and burgers to ice cream shakes and strawberry shortcake.
The Central Wisconsin Pullers’ annual Friday night ATV pull also starts at 6 p.m., with registration opening at 4 p.m. in downtown Colby.
New this year is a double elimination co-ed sand volleyball tournament that starts at 6 p.m. on Friday and continues at 10 a.m. on Saturday. It will be held at South Sixth Street Park.
Also starting on Friday night is the Colby Lions bingo tent at 7 p.m. and the three day softball tournament at 6:30 p.m. on the Colby softball field. The softball games pick up again at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Food and beverages will be sold at the ballpark and there is also a play area for kids.
Friday night will come to a close with live music downtown by rock and roll band Regenerated from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Saturday morning will start with the annual Colby Cheese Days 5K, 10K, and kids one mile race, which also includes the Jamison Kampmeyer Memorial Mile. Firefighters interested in paying tribute to Jamison are invited to run or walk a mile in turnout gear. A traveling ax is awarded to the overall winning fire station, with the ax being displayed there until next year’s race.
Registration runs from 7 to 8:15 a.m. with the Kampmeyer Memorial Mile and kids one-mile race at 8:15 a.m. The 10K starts at 8:50 a.m., followed by the 5K at 9:10 a.m.
Other events on Saturday include a three-on-three basketball tournament at the Colby High School gym, starting at 9:30 a.m.; a bench-pressing contest in front of the Nicolet National Bank at 10 a.m. and a pedal tractor pull at 12:30 p.m., also in front of Nicolet.
Food stands and the south bar open at 11 a.m., followed by the carnival rides and beer stand at noon. The Rural Arts Museum is open to the public from 1 to 4 p.m. and Lions Bingo also reopens for the day at 1 p.m.
Saturday afternoon will also feature an antique and classic tractor pull downtown, with registration starting at 2 p.m. at South First Street and the pull beginning at 3 p.m.
Live music will return to downtown Saturday night, with a performance by variety rock band, The Dweebs, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The Dweebs is a family band with over 30 years in the music business. Their performances feature both cover songs and originals.
Sunday’s main event will be the Cheese Days parade at noon, with line-up starting at 9 a.m. Semis and implement equipment should line up for the parade on Adams Street and other floats on North Second Street in front of the high school.
Free train rides on the Canadian Nationals “Little Obie” will be available after the parade. The Rural Arts museum will be open again from 1 to 4 p.m.
Following the parade, there will be performances from the All Star Dance Team and the Colby Show Choir on the north side of Nicolet National Bank on Spence Street.
The food stands, beer tent, bingo and carnival rides will also be open all afternoon and evening Sunday. The Colby VFW will start serving its famous charcoal chicken at 11 a.m.
The annual farm tractor pull will also be held Sunday, with weigh-in from 10 a.m. to noon on South First Street. The pull will start 1:15 p.m. and run throughout the afternoon.
The World Championship Cheese Curd throw, sponsored by the Colby High School band, starts at 3 p.m. on Spence Street. A grand champion trophy will be awarded, along with trophies for males and females in each age group.
Sunday will wrap up with live music entertainment by DJ-The Audio Train from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.