Cheese City is ready for a Gouda Saturday.
The City of Armstrong will once again be home to everything cheese, locally produced and processed food and more as they host its ninth annual Cheese…It’s A Natural event Saturday, March 19, at Hassen Arena.
“This year the popular event will again feature two opportunities for cheese lovers to enjoy the taste of artisan cheese produced in the North Okanagan as well as from other areas of the region,” said Patti Noonan, executive director of the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce – the main organizers of the festival.
New this year is the Local Food and Buyers Mixer event on Friday, March 18. It is an industry-only event that brings together local food growers, processors and buyers. Vendors will have the opportunity to showcase their produce and products and meet the region’s buyers, including restaurants, hotels and retailers, who are interested in increasing the local products they use, stock and sell.
“For local producers and processors, this event provides a great opportunity to sell to two audiences over two days: to local buyers during this mixer event, and to the public on Saturday during the festival,” said Noonan. “For regional buyers, this event provides the opportunity to connect with the local food available here. Buyers, registered by March 15, will receive a local food tasting package and complimentary beverage at Friday’s event.”
Pre-registration is necessary – contact the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce.
Beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday in Hassen Arena, cheesemakers, artisan food and beverage producers will provide samples and information. Those attending will pick up an event pass which will allow one complimentary tasting from each exhibitor until 3 p.m. Products will also be available for purchase just in case you find something you can’t live without. The daytime event is $2 per person – and being a food-centric event, donations of a non-perishable item for the ‘Feed the Valley’ program in support of the Armstrong Food Bank will be accepted.
During the event, Canadian Cheese Ambassador David Beaudoin will host cheese seminars at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Registration for the seminars is a must and you can do this at the welcome table.
Think you are the ‘big cheese’? Don’t miss the ‘Cheese ball ‘and ‘Grilled Cheese’ competitions. Amateur cheese ball entries will be accepted from 10 – 11 a.m. with judging at 11 a.m. The amateur grilled cheese competition begins at 11 a.m. Winners of both amateur contest plus the winner of the ‘Great Grilled Cheese Restaurant Challenge’ will be announced at 12 p.m. with bragging rights for an entire year.
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