by Dave Warner

If you were one of the few who didn’t attend the Cheese Festival, you missed one fantastic event. It started out chilly with an overcast sky, but by the time they opened the gates, the clouds were parting, and people were showing up by the shuttle bus load.

I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical when I saw that instead of real animals, we would have people going up and down Main Street dressed as sheep. However, it had to be one of the funniest things I think I’ve ever seen.

The response to ‘Les Moutons” and their interpretation of sheep with their shepherd stole the show. The response from children and adults was just hilarious. Just imagine you are walking down the street, and this person (in full acting mode and a sheep costume) just plops down at your feet. The facial expressions were just too much.

Teri Chace, one of the event organizers, stated, “Every year, it’s a little bit better, and I didn’t know how we could improve on last year.”

However, they added more space between the booths and added more vendors on the west end of Main Street. “It was full from end to end,” she said.

Chace said that her overall impression was that it was steady all day long. “Steady crowds, steady sales. I didn’t ever pick up on a vibe of it being frantic or people jostling.”

Some of the comments she heard were, “Oh my God, I’ve died and gone to cheese heaven,” or “The quality of your cheese vendors is very high caliber.”

She said, “I had to explain to them there are cheese vendors here this year that wouldn’t even consider us five years ago. Now, they’re asking to be in. We had award-winning cheese makers among us. We had really high-caliber cheeses.”

“For those for whom cheese is their life and their religion, they were really impressed. There are people who come to the festival that don’t know much about cheese, and they’re just happy because it’s delicious, but the cheese aficionados were impressed, and that made me feel good,” she stated.

Chace said that the volunteer that selected the music is a musician himself and that they received tons of praise for the music during the festival. “Some people were just blown away by the caliber of the bands.”

Andy McEvoy, who owns Paca Gardens on Main Street, said, “I saw a street full of excited and happy people of all ages taking advantage of a premier Cheese Festival filled with quality vendors. People tell us all the time that they love coming to Little Falls for all the wonderful events.”

“It was another record Cheese Festival for Paca Gardens. The demographics of the Cheese Festival attendees closely match that of our regular shoppers, so it’s a huge benefit for us as we get many “first-time” shoppers to try our products.”

“These great events all have a direct positive impact on our local economy, and we are thankful for all the hardworking volunteers that make it happen. Little Falls has set the “bar” for premier community events,” he stated.

Editor’s Note: I drove through downtown on Sunday morning at about 9 am. The road was clean, and booths and barriers had already been removed. There is NO WAY 10,000 people had been on this street just yesterday. Little Falls DPW and the Cheese Festival volunteers really need to be thanked for how the condition they left the City in after such a large festival.

Watch the video (below) by pressing the Play arrow, and then check out all the images below.

Images (below) by Frank Forte