It’s time to brie-the in the aroma of all kinds of amazing cheeses while helping to raise some cheddar for Main Street Wellington.
The 2016 Wellington Cheese Heritage Festival will feature three days of fun starting at 5 p.m. Friday.
It’s a celebration of those heady years from the 1870s to the early 1900s when the village was known far and wide as the Cheese Capital of the World, producing more than any other place in the United States.
It all started with Molly Baun, a Holstein shipped from Europe to Wellington. The breed could produce far more milk than traditional American cows, leading to a revolution in dairy farming here.
For decades, Wellington cheese was shipped in huge quantities to England, Scotland, and Ireland. The village’s downtown railroad tracks were lined by cheese factories, the last — the B.B. Herrick factory — shuttering in 1912.
You can celebrate that heritage this weekend by buying cheese-on-a-stick from the Main Street Wellington food barn, taking part in a cheesecake bake-off, or perusing the wares of high-quality cheese vendors on the village green.
The 16th annual festival will also feature a cornhole tournament, cow patty bingo, crafts for sale, a raffle, a wine tent, a magic show, children’s games and rides, a pizza-eating contest, health screenings, music by the Starship Truckers, face-painting, a petting farm, a parade, and 5K and 10K races.
For a full schedule of events, visit www.mainstreetwellington.org.
What’s new this year?
• Adventure-seekers can explore a climbing wall and Euro-Bungee ride by Ohio Party Animals.
• Friday, The Great Brad will perform magic at the firehouse at 6 p.m., then stroll around the crowd continuing his show.
• From 12:30-2:30 p.m. Saturday, Twist of the Wrist Balloons will be near the firehouse twisting up creations for free. At 4:30 p.m., play a round or two in the Cake Walk outside of the firehouse. Tickets are 50 cents each round. There will be more than 20 winners.
• The Ohio History Connection Project will complete interviews from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday, gathering stories about living in a small town. Share your story and thoughts.
• Saturday and Sunday, Critter Camp Farm will be at South Park with pony rides and a petting farm with chickens, goats, rabbits, and more.
• Celebrate the return of the wine tent from 2-9 p.m. Saturday adjacent to South Park at 147 South Main St.
• Inner Circle Personal Fitness has added an additional cornhole tournament. From 5-9 p.m. Saturday, the professionals will play “under the lights” and from 1-5 p.m. Sunday the amateurs tournament takes place, both in North Park just south of the gazebo. Register onsite for $15 per person or $30 per team. The top three teams of each tournament will take home cash prizes.
• At 1:30 p.m. Sunday there will be a “cheesy” wet sponge fight and at 2 p.m., a multi-generational kickball game with free watermelon sponsored by Thrive! Southern Lorain County, which is inspiring everyone to be more active and eat healthier. At 2:30 adults and kids can register to compete in the pizza eating contest to win some “cheese-tastic” trophies and prizes.
• There will be many new food vendors featuring barbecue, macaroni and cheese, gelato, elephant ears, loaded tater-tots, tacos, doughnuts, and more.
File photo Carson Musgrove pets Bitsey before cow patty bingo begins at the 2015 Wellington Cheese Heritage Festival. This year’s event features everything from pony rides to a wet sponge fight to a climbing wall!