by Dave Warner

New York State’s Premier Gathering of Cheesemakers proved it was just that, with a festival that drew more than an estimated 6,000 people to the community and the Main Street of Little Falls.

The festival was created in 2015 to celebrate the rich history of the cheese trade in Little Falls, which was the former cheese market capital of the nation, and to support the resurgence of artisan and farmstead cheesemaking in Upstate New York.

Two hours into the festival, it was clear that things were going to be record-breaking. Colleen Corsi, Cheese Festival volunteer said “The Cheese Festival has been amazing, we’ve already had 2,346 people come by our entry point to the festival. People from all over, everybody is happy, everybody is extremely excited. We’ve got a perfect day, and Little Falls has been blessed.”

The streets were not only lined with people and vendors, but there was enough music to entertain the crowds. Businesses were open along the street, and crowds poured through them throughout the day.

Matt Powers, owner of Meeples Mughouse on Main Street said “The day went very well. We met a lot of awesome people from out of the area, even people who spoke different languages and it was very cool to interact with all these people coming to Little Falls to show them our beautiful city and my little store.”

“There were smiles and people were happy and the shaved ice guys Sweet Chillz were a hit. It was amazing just to see all the people come into the store. It was a really cool experience,” said Powers.

Mayor Mark Blask stated “What a fantastic day for Little Falls. Just look around, there are people from all over the country in Little Falls New York today, experiencing all we have to offer. It’s packed. The sun is out, it’s such a great day.”

He went on to say “You get to run into people you know and meet new friends. The organizers of the Cheese Festival are incredible. They worked so hard and their marketing efforts clearly paid off. I’m absolutely overwhelmed by the number of people. I’m just getting positive vibes from everyone.”

“The festival is getting bigger and better every year, and that can be attributed to the volunteers and the Cheese Festival committee,” he said.

According to the program, those members are Teri Chace, Jayne Ritz, Kyrie Felio, Suzie Jones, Elaine Cobb, Todd Harter, Jill Rae Vennera, Ann Tomei and Scot Nolan.

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