Town of Middleton: Sunflower Days returns this summer

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TOWN OF MIDDLETON, Wis. (WMTV)--- Officials announced on Wednesday morning that they are bringing back Sunflower Days this summer in Dane County.

A spokesperson for the Town of Middleton said the event will take place July 26 – Aug. 4 at the Pope Farm Conservancy on Old Sauk Road. Town of Middleton Board members, who are also Town of Middleton Tourism Commission members, started planning by hiring a local event firm, Race Day Events, at their Feb. 25 meeting. The dates of the event were finalized Monday night.

The town said the event grew from an annual handful in 2007 to an estimated 90,000 people over 10 days in 2017.

The event was originally hosted by the Friends of Pope Farms Conservancy which is a volunteer group. The event was canceled in 2018 following safety concerns due to large crowds.

“The Town Board thanks the Friends for their effort to delight our residents and many neighbors each year with the glorious sunflowers,” said Cynthia Richson, Town Board Chair. “It’s time we take the burden from the Friends and work with event experts who will ensure public safety and the protection of this treasured asset of the Town.”

Event planners are suggesting a nominal admission, parking, and shuttle fee. There would be free admission for children under 12-years-old.

“One of the options to solve the safety issue is to provide a shuttle bus from surrounding local parking lots. The small fee will support that effort,” Richson said. “It’s a small price to pay to bring so much joy to visitors and area families and children.”

Greg DiMiceli, the Town Administrator, said that a farmer who rents land at the Pope Farm Conservancy from the Town of Middleton will soon begin planting the 9.5 acres with sunflower seeds.