CACHE COUNTY – County officials here have announced the schedule of events for their upcoming first annual Cache Valley Cheese & Dairy Festival on Sept. 4 at the Cache County Events Center.
That gathering is entirely appropriate, says events center director Ron Bjorkman, because Cache Valley is home to multi-generational dairy farms as well as internationally recognized ice cream, milk, butter and cheese producers.
“A festival celebrating our Cache Valley dairy heritage and the impact of our products across the nation is long overdue,” according to Julie Hollist Terrill, the director of the Cache Valley Visitors Bureau.
The day-long cheese fest will kick-off with a butter churning demonstration at 10:15 a.m. This activity will be repeated at 11:30 a.m.
A cheese sensory workshop will follow at 10:30 a.m., demonstrating how cheese is made.
The cheese workshop will be repeated at 2:30 p.m.
Festival organizers will also announce the winner of their amateur-level Best Cheesecake in the County contest at 10:30 a.m. In addition to bragging rights, the first- through third-place winners of that contest will take home quantities of Schreiber Foods products worth $500, $300 and $200 respectively.
The first of four Charcuterie Board demonstrations is also slated at 10:30 a.m.
Charcuterie boards were originally displays of cured meats, but have gradually evolved to include cheeses, fruit, olives, nuts and various spreads.
Demonstrations of this craft will be repeated at 1:30, 3:30 and 5:30 p.m.
At 11 a.m., the Salzburger Echo band will invite festival attendees to try to play their 12-foot alpenhorns.
The Salzburger Echo is a Utah-based band that entertains with 12-foot alphorns, Swiss cowbells and harmony yodeling. They regularly perform at Oktoberfest events at the Snowbird Ski Resort, in Las Vegas and in Oregon, New Mexico and Wyoming.
The alpenhorn demonstration will be repeated at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
The festival will also feature live music, food truck snacks and free samples of locally made dairy products through the day.
A Pitchfork Fondue dinner at 6 p.m. awaits any festival attendees who are still hungry after a full day of sampling local cheeses. The menu for that event includes ribeye steak, cheesy Dutch oven potatoes, vegetables, rolls, drinks and choco-cherry cobbler with ice cream.
Tickets for the Pitchfork Fondue Dinner are $35 each.
Finally, a performance by the Salzburger Echo at 6:30 p.m. will serve as the finale of the cheese festival.
The Cache Valley Cheese & Dairy Festival is a cooperative effort by dairy farmers, dairy produce manufacturers, the Utah State University Extension Service, the Dairy Farmers of America, Cache County and the Cache Valley Visitors Bureau.
The event was originally suggested by former Cache County Executive Craig Buttars before he left for a new post in state government.
“Everybody knows that Cache Valley is the cheese capital of Utah and is very influential throughout the United States, “ Buttars explains. “There are also many great things that go along with our dairy industry – wonderful ice cream, great cheese and cheese production.
“This festival will be a great time to celebrate our dairy heritage and some of the exciting things happening in the dairy industry in Cache Valley.”