The 12th Annual Cheese Curd Festival, presented by the Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, will be hotter than ever as the community comes together, "Livin' la Vida Queso"! at East End Park.
Corresponding with the theme, a Hot-Dipped Curd Eating Contest will be featured, along with the more traditional fresh curd counterpart. The event begins at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, June 30.
Preceding the curd event will be the parade, which starts at 1 p.m. The festival parade will once again begin at Plum Street, heading east on Main past East End Park before disbursing at Broadway. Floats were encouraged to reflect the festival's theme and will be awarded for their efforts. Jack Hines, who recently underwent open heart surgery, will once again emcee, along with a guest announcer.
Another change this year is a shorter two-mile run Saturday morning, June 29, encouraging families, beginners and those of all ages to participate. The run will start and end at East End Park, with registration beginning at 7:30 a.m., and the run at 8:30 am. All participants receive a t-shirt.
Chamber Executive Director Sarah Ries noted the festival committee has made some adjustments to their set-up this year at the park, after the initial run last year there. There will be an addition of a second tent and a booth in the park to purchase merchandise and beverages. Guests will also notice changes due to the beautification project undertaken by the Sesquicentennial Committee last year, the most recent addition being a lion drinking fountain donated by the Ellsworth Lions Club.
Due to increased interest in the Craft and Business Show and Sale, booth vendors will be showcased not only along Wall Street, but also within the park. A variety of craft and direct sale vendors, along with businesses--including home remodeling and investments--and vacation promoters, will be in attendance, many of them on display Friday night, June 28. Saturday and Sunday, June 29-30, Cape Cod Chainsaw Art of River Falls will be back, carving on-site and selling finished sculptures.
For the kids, the FFA Alumni are once again sponsoring the Pedal Tractor Pull at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 29. The Kiddie Parade precedes the pull at 12:30 p.m.. Other mainstays include the bounce house and Happ-E-Hill Train Rides, and a Sunday, June 30, visit from Pickles the Clown. New this year, Stagecoach Motorsports will have vehicles on display throughout the day Saturday, June 29, for all to enjoy.
Of course, the festival will feature plenty of curds! In addition to the contests, food vendors will offer a number of curd-rich menu items, including different flavors of fried curds, the Canadian dish poutine, and curd-topped burgers and dogs. Once again, non-profit organizations are providing the concessions in an effort to "keep it local."
In addition to festival merchandise and craft booth purchases, guests may head home with winnings from the Meat Raffle and Festival Auction, which features prize-winning pies. Bingo and Bean Bag Toss, the Curd-Eating Contests and Medallion Hunt all offer cash prizes, as does the Button Raffle--buyers of the $2 festival button have a chance to win up to $900 total with daily drawings.
Bring the family, invite friends, and head down to East End Park June 28-30 for a fun-filled weekend supporting the Ellsworth community!