© 2024 Milwaukee Public Media is a service of UW-Milwaukee's College of Letters & Science
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
With so many unexpected adventures right here in Wisconsin, this series helps you discover great places to visit throughout the state.

The Grilled Cheese Sandwich Championship is as Wisconsin as it gets

Participants engaging in the Wisconsin grilled cheese championship
Becky Mortensen
Participants engaging in the Wisconsin grilled cheese championship

There’s an artistry to making cheese. There’s also an art to sandwich making. And those two things come together at the Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Sandwich Championship.

It began as a way to raise awareness about the important role that Wisconsin’s dairy farmers play in the state’s economy, and now it draws thousands of people from around the country to test their grilled cheese sandwich-making skills.

The championship is a family friendly one-day event held at the Lee Memorial Pavilion at Harris Park on April 20. The doors open at 10:45 a.m. and the competition goes from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

The championship draws thousands of participants from across the country but you don't need to be an expert to participate.

"Anybody can join us," Jenna Vondra, the executive director of the Dodgeville Area Chamber of Commerce explains. "We have competitors that start at the age of 12 and they go to all ages. We have our amateur competition and we have our professional competition. All levels can compete, you don't have to be a Top Chef to be in the competition."

For those not competing, there's still plenty of fun to take in at the championship.

"If you're not competing, we do have a area set up where you can watch the competitors compete and it's kind of exciting. They only have about three minutes to make their sandwiches. You can sit around and watch them," says Vondra.

Only those who purchase a VIP ticket will be able to try the sandwiches made by competitors. There will also be five food trucks and two food booths, as well as 17 local vendors selling goods.

"It's just a time to hang out with family and friends and watch a little family friendly competition," Vondra says.

If you're looking to get outside while in the Dodgeville area Amanda Weibel from Travel Wisconsin suggests heading to Governor Dodge State Park. "It's really a jewel of the Wisconsin State Park System. It is just outside of Dodgeville and it's 5,000 acres. So, it's one of our largest state parks. It preserves this gorgeous stretch of the driftless area. You're going to find these steep hills, deep valleys and sandstone bluffs which date back 450 million years." There's also swimming, paddling, boating, horseback riding and hiking.

Another nearby destination and one of Weibel's favorites is Military Ridge State Trail. "It stretches 40 miles from Governor Dodge State Park in the West to just side up outside of Madison in the east. And it is also a rail trail, which means that it's a path built on a former railroad route. So, it's flat," Weibel explains. "There's also beautiful variety in the scenery. It passes through agricultural lands, woods, wetlands, prairies."

For lodging in the area, Weibel suggests the Don Q Inn Hotel. Weibel says, "It's known for the creative designs of its themed guest suites that bring fantasy to life."

Becky is WUWM's executive producer of Lake Effect.
Rob is All Things Considered Host and Digital Producer.
Related Content