The Original Cheese Festival is an annual event that is held each fall in downtown Madison, the capital city of this Midwestern state. Currently going into its fifth year, this festival has gained a large following of individuals who enjoy making, tasting and learning about cheese. In the first weekend in November, travelers from all over the globe are invited to convene at the Monon Terrace Hotel in order to celebrate this delicious dairy product. According to the festival’s website, officials are expecting this year’s event to be the largest and most well-attended yet.
Many special events and activities are planned over the course of this two-day festival, including a several-hour farm and creamery tour. Interested individuals can embark on a full-day excursion to America’s Dairyland, during which they will tour a cheese plant, be treated to a homemade lunch at a local tavern, walk through a functioning cow barn and sample warm Cheddar cheese curds as they are removed from the vat. Later on in the day, travelers may wish to continue their cheese education at the Friday Evening Meet the Cheesemaker Gala. At this event, individuals will be able to meet 35 of Wisconsin’s top dairy farmers and cheese producers while they taste more than 150 different fresh cheeses. In addition, appetizers are served with complimentary wine and beer produced by local microbreweries.
On the second day of the the Wisconsin Original Cheese Festival, attendees can embark on a small guided tour of the state’s largest farmer’s market. During this excursion, they will be personally introduced to many of the cheesemakers who sell their wares and enjoy a multi-course lunch at the nearby Fromagination, a restaurant and shop that specializes in artisan dairy products.
Individuals who are not interested in embarking on a tour of the farmer’s market may instead want to sign up for one of the many seminars that the festival will offer. At least eight different mini-courses will be offered back-to-back, which will allow travelers to sign up for as many as they desire. Although many subjects are expected to be covered, individuals can be sure that there will be at least one class on wine, beer, rum and cheese pairings.