Photo by Diego Lozano on Unsplash
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. It’s festival season! Last year, we missed out on a lot of the in-person events we love to look forward to, but this year, many states are bringing them back—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
Blair, WI | Sep. 16–19, 2021
“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.”
Atlanta, GA | September 11, 2021
“Join us to celebrate #NationalGrilledCheeseDay a little late this year with restaurants from all over Atlanta serving up bites of melty, cheesy goodness for your tasting pleasure.”
Sacramento, CA | September 11–12, 2021
“The Sacramento Grilled Cheese Festival is a full weekend dedicated to the one food you never outgrow…. GRILLED CHEESE! We’ve paired our grilled cheese with everything from craft beer to bounce houses so we’ve got something for everyone. Choose the event that fits your tastes, or come to both and experience everything grilled cheese has to offer.”
Birmingham, AL | November 14, 2021
“Enjoy tasting mac and cheese from your favorite local restaurants, caterers, and corporate teams. This year, the Magic City Mac N’ Cheese Festival will be held at Back Forty Beer Company, across from historic Sloss Furnaces. We will have family- and pet-friendly activities, live music, plenty of food and beverages, and of course, a fun competition for the best mac n’ cheese!”
Sugarcreek, OH | September 30–October 2, 2021
“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.”
Fond-du-Lac, WI | September 11, 2021
“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.”
Pittsfield, ME | September 12, 2021
“Highlighting the 2021 Festival is the inaugural Maine Cheese Awards. This family-friendly event is sure to delight everyone! Come for the music, food trucks, adorable goats, and of course, come for the Maine cheese!”
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: Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Funnel Cake
Where to find it: Iowa State Fair, August 12–22
This snack dares to ask the question: What if your everyday funnel cake was…spicy? This out-of-this-world idea came about after last year’s red velvet cake was confused for something savory. It’s topped with a scoop of nacho cheese and crumbled Flamin’ Hot Cheetos for the perfect balance of cheesy and fiery.
Cheesy snack: Fried Lobster Mac and Cheese Balls
Where to find it: Kentucky State Fair, August 19–29
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: Buttermilk Wafflewich
Where to find it: Indiana State Fair, July 30–August 22
Step aside, basic grilled cheese. This sammy from the Indiana State Dairy Bar swaps bread for two buttermilk waffles, is filled with cheddar and American cheese, and has Sweet Red Pepper Relish on the side—a sweet and savory dream.
Cheesy snack: The Bomb Cob
Where to find it: Erie County Fair, NY, August 11–22
Covered in cotija cheese, mayo, Takis, and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, this is the cheesy fair food to end all fair foods. The Bomb Cob is a play on Mexican street corn with vibrant toppings creating a unique red-white-and-blue aesthetic that just begs to be snapped for your Insta feed.