Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival marks 30th year

Ray Mueller



LITTLE CHUTE – Despite two rounds of thunderstorms during the weekend, the Little Chute community staged another successful Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival June 2-4.

The tasting of up to 30 samples of cheese is a popular attraction at the Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival.

From an event held annually since 1988, profits of $1.3 million have been contributed to community projects, organizations, and schools in addition to scholarships given every year to four Little Chute high school graduates.

Cheese related activities provide the theme for the festival which also includes a carnival, tents filled with vendors of food and other products, numerous musical groups, a petting zoo (including two mature turtles) provided by Dona and Gene Wheeler's Special Memories Zoo of Greenville, and a great variety of other entertainment for attendees of all ages.

.   Master cheese carver Troy Landwehr put the final touches on his portrayal of a Tyrannosaurus Rex that he fashioned from a 40-pound block of Cheddar cheese at the Great Wisconsin Cheese Festival.

For two hours on Saturday afternoon and one hour on Sunday, attendees are treated to a sampling of up to 30 varieties of cubed cheeses donated by manufacturers and other contributors – a total of 500 pounds this year. About 1,200 plates were filled on Saturday and about half that number on Sunday afternoon. Members of the Key Club at Little Chute High School are among the volunteers for the cheese tasting attraction.

Other cheese related activities are cheese carving (this year a rendition of Tyrannosaurus Rex by the internationally known carver Troy Landwehr), a Cheddar cheese walk/run, a parade featuring cheese theme floats, a cheese curd eating contest, and a sampling of four flavors of cheese spreads sponsored by Merkt's.