10 - Wellington Cheese Festival

25.) Wellington Cheese Festival – July 21, 2012

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By the 1860’s, Wellington and the surrounding area were rich in dairy farms that produced mass quantities of bone-enriching milk. But this was before refrigeration and there was a lot of this milk that went to waste since it couldn’t all be consumed.

In 1865, after researching new processes for making cheese, brothers C.W. and J.C. Horr took advantage of the local milk excess and built a modern cheese factory in nearby Huntington Township. They had immediate success and this led to many more (40) cheese factories coming into the area, along with various cheese warehouses, and other cheese-related businesses.

Wellington eventually became known as the “Cheese Capital of the World,” using the railroad to ship off its dairy gold across the country and, in time, even using ships to find customers in Europe.

At the peak of the cheese boom (1878), Wellington shipped out nearly 6.5 million pounds of cheese and over 1 million pounds of butter.

But when Cleveland’s demand for milk became greater in the early 1900’s, dairy farms realized that it was more profitable to sell milk to creameries rather than make cheese, leading to the end of Wellington’s cheese production (1912)…

…and memorializing those days in a festival.

Taking place in historic downtown Wellington, the Wellington Cheese Festival offered a nice cheesy experience…

…giving festival goers a taste through various food vendors…

…that served cheese on sandwiches…

…and on fries.

This vendor, separated from the others…

…was the place to go if you wanted a nice piece of cheesecake…

…or a golden fried cheese-on-a-stick.

If you preferred something for the road…

…or possibly cheese to accompany your wine or beer…

…both the main festival booth and a booth from Heini’s sold cheese by the pound…

…with plenty of free samples to assist you in your selections.

There was even Heini cheese popcorn.

For festival goers in the non-cheese shopping mood…
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…a few vendors offered products…

…to accessorize the home…

…as well as the body (Bling Boutique).

The majority of booths were actually from local organizations…

…that offered products and info from the local farmer’s market

hospital and college

…while LifeShare gave the opportunity to give back.

In terms of entertainment, things were fairly simple.

Adults could enjoy the Kool Kat Oldies of 1380 AM

…while kids had some more options via inflatables and games.

Fortunately for me…
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…I found my entertainment here…

…during the children’s cheesecake competition…

…where judges sampled some rather appetizing creations.

I just so happened to sneak in the back, when the next entry came out…

…a pepperoni cheesecake!

I was so intrigued by this entry that I asked if I could try it myself!

Fortunately, they obliged, giving me a fork but also warning me that I should turn around if I thought I was going to make a face.

But I didn’t need to – it was really good! It tasted like ricotta cheese was used, making it more of a savory dish.

I thanked everyone for the tasting opportunity and went back to the food vendors…

…ending my festival experience with a smile.

 

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