Our Story

In 1914, the concept of Cheese Days originated from the notion that if some little town in Illinois could have a festival commemorating sauerkraut, then a celebration based on cheese would be an even better idea.

A group of local businessmen planned the festivities in just nineteen days, driving a roadster through the city of Monroe to publicize the event. A hand-lettered sign attached to the vehicle proclaimed “FIRST CHEESE DAY COMMITTEE 1914 – WE STARTED SOMETHING!”

And did they ever.

Today we invite you to take part in Cheese Days 2016 – where Old World tradition has generated an out-of-this-world celebration.


Cheese Days Song

“Come to Cheese Days in Monroe!” Using the melody of a popular Swiss tune, Rudy Burkhalter penned the lyrics to the much-loved Cheese Days song in 1965. It was recorded with accompaniment by the Monroe High School Band. In 1967, it was re-recorded (again on a 45 RPM record) with Rudy providing vocals and Martha Bernet as featured yodeler – this time under studio-controlled conditions for a “high-fidelity” version ideal for home use and juke boxes.

Rudy Burkhalter & Martha Bernet

Rudy Burkhalter & Martha Bernet

Cheese Days in Monroe Record

Through the Years with Our Commemorative Buttons

Cheese Days Button Collector
Cheese Days 2016 Button