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It’s Cheese Festival Season! Here’s How to Celebrate

Photo by Diego Lozano on Unsplash

This post was updated on Aug. 9, 2023

It’s that time of year again: humidity levels are slowly falling, the leaves on trees will soon be changing, and that crisp, cool feeling is on its way. From coast to coast, festival season will soon be in full swing are—and cheese is taking center stage. See what cheesy festivals are taking place near you in the coming months, which fair foods we’re looking forward to, and how you can take part in the fun.

Upcoming Cheese Festivals

Arthur Amish Country Cheese Festival
Arthur, Ill. | Sept. 2-4, 2023

“Eat a corn dog, sample the cheese, take in a tractor pull, watch a parade, listen to some music, Win a national title at the National Cheese Eating Championships or a world title in the International Cheese Curling Championships.”

Fondue Festival 
Fond-du-Lac, Wisc. | Sept. 9, 2023

“With an annual attendance of more than 20,000 people, Fondue Fest comes in as the largest event in downtown. Three stages with all genres of music playing all day, a huge Kids Zone, art and craft vendors, Farmers Market vendors, cheese and chocolate fondue provided by MPTC Culinary students, and more add to the excitement of the day.”

Maine Cheese Festival
Pittsfield, Maine | Sept. 10, 2023

“The Maine Cheese Festival hosts a wide array of Maine cheesemakers, alongside a variety of local, artisanal products all crafted to delight your tastebuds.”

Blair Cheese Festival
Blair, Wisc. | Sept. 14–17, 2023

“The Annual Blair Cheese Festival, taking place the second full weekend after Labor Day is a community staple within Trempealeau County, Wisconsin. This annual event draws in hundreds from around western Wisconsin and alike.”

Massachusetts Cheese Festival
Lee, Mass. | Sept. 23, 2023

“The Massachusetts Cheese Guild is bringing back the Massachusetts Cheese Festival after a two-year hiatus. While past festivals were in late autumn at an indoor Boston location, this year the festival will be held outside, in the heart of the Berkshires.”

SF Cheese Fest
San Fransisco, Cali. | Sept. 23, 2023

“Mingle with a multitude of cheesemakers from around the state, sample dozens of cheeses, cured meats, jams, desserts, bites and more.  Wash it all down with local wine and beer while swaying to live music.”

Swiss Festival
Sugarcreek, Ohio | Sept. 28–30, 2023

“Every fall, downtown Sugarcreek, Ohio transforms into a lively Swiss village, celebrating the rich cultural heritage of Switzerland. From wine and cheese samplings to races, contests, and parades, the Swiss Festival offers something for everyone.”

Art of Cheese Festival
Madison, Wisc. | Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2023

A first-ever event hosted by Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. “Cheese Crawl to Cheese Ball, Art of Cheese Festival Has It All.”

Little Falls Cheese Festival
Little Falls, N.Y. | Oct. 7, 2023

From 1864 to 1870, Little Falls, New York was the largest cheese market…in the world. The 8th-annual Cheese Festival honors that history, and in 2022, drew more than 10,000 cheese lovers, 90 New York State vendors, and 42 New York State cheesemakers.

Carolina Mountain Cheese Festival
Black Mountain, N.C. | Oct. 8, 2023

“Beyond the plethora of delicious and unique cheeses that will be at CMCF ’23, attendees will also have the chance to sample and purchase products from the supporting Western North Carolina Cheese Trail community which includes winemakers, cideries, gourmet food producers, and more.”

Magic City Mac and Cheese Festival
Birmingham, Ala. | Nov. 12, 2023

“Come join us for a day of family fun activities, delicious food and beverages, and some friendly competition among local eateries, food trucks, caterers and cook teams.”

Cheesy Festival Foods To Look For

One of the best parts of festival season? Those nostalgic fair foods that you can only find at those big, colorful tents. Be on the lookout for these standout snacks at stands across the country to stop by and enjoy before they’re gone.

Cheesy snack: Deep-Fried Bacon Brisket Mac-n-Cheese Grilled Cheese

Where to find it: Iowa State Fair, Aug. 10-20, 2023

This over-the-top grilled cheese layers Bacon Brisket Mac and Cheese between layers of American cheese and two slices of What’s Your Cheez Bacon Cheddar Bread. It is then deep-fried until golden brown and served with a signature raspberry chipotle BBQ sauce.

Cheesy snack: Fried Lobster Mac and Cheese Balls

Where to find it: Kentucky State Fair, Aug. 17–27, 2023

Photo: Cheezy Does It

Everyone loves lobster mac. But deep frying it with fresh lobster claw meat and lots of gooey cheese brings this favorite to a whole new level. These bites are a fair exclusive from Cheezy Does It, so get ’em now before they’re gone!

Cheesy snack: Flaming Hot Cheeto Corn in a Cup

Where to find it: Indiana State Fair, July 28-Aug. 20, 2023

Photo: Indiana State Fair

Just one of the many crazy, corn-based snacks at the Indiana State Fair, this one includes piles the kernels with nacho cheese, Flaming Hot Cheetos, and tajin—Mexican chili-lime seasoning

Cheesy snack: K Dog (Korean Hot Dog)

Where to find it: Erie County Fair, NY, August 9–20, 2023

Photo: Erie County Fair

An all-beef hot dog and mozzarella cheese dipped in batter, fried, and then rolled in your choice of toppings—Takis, fried potato cubes (pictured) or Hot Cheeto dust.

Monica Petrucci

Monica is Culture's former Social Media Editor. Coming from a formaggio-obsessed Italian family, she was very excited to combine her passions for cheese and writing at Culture. She loves experimenting in the kitchen and pairing wine and cheese in her spare time.

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