AP NEWS

Sunflower Days returning this summer in town of Middleton

March 7, 2019

Acre upon acre of blazing sunflowers will be on display to the public once again in the town of Middleton this summer.

Town officials announced Wednesday the return of Sunflower Days at the Pope Farm Conservancy, running from July 26 to Aug. 4.

The event was last held in 2017 when an estimated 90,000 people took Instagram photos and selfies among the close to 10 acres of sunflowers, but it was canceled in 2018 because of safety concerns with such a large crowd.

This year, certain elements will be put in place to make the event safer as well as less costly to organizers.

The volunteer group Friends of Pope Farm Conservancy had hosted the event, but it will now be run by the local event company Race Day Events.

Suggested changes this year include an admission fee, better parking and shuttle buses to the conservancy at 7440 Old Sauk Road, a couple of miles west of the Beltline.

“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,” Town Board Chair Cynthia Richson said in a statement.

A shuttle bus would take visitors from nearby parking lots to the conservancy for a small fee. The admission and shuttle fees were not announced, but children under 12 would be admitted free.

The Town of Middleton Tourism Commission will work with Race Day Events over the next few weeks to finalize details for Sunflower Days.