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Fifth annual Cheddar Cheese Festival set July 12 in Adams

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ADAMS — The village will be transformed into a cheesy mecca July 12.

Numerous cheese-themed activities will be held downtown off East Church and North Main streets during the village’s fifth annual Cheddar Cheese Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Paying tribute to the agriculture industry and the impact that Great Lakes Cheese has on the economy, the festival will kick off at 10 a.m. with an opening ceremony attended by local dignitaries at the village green.

“We are strictly all about agriculture and cheese,” said Connie Elliott, who co-chairs the festival hosted by the Adams Revitalization Committee. “It’s increasingly gotten bigger every single year. Last year there might have been 6,000 or 7,000 people, and we expect more every year. We hope it will go on for years to come.”

More than 50 vendors will set up shop downtown Saturday, selling a range of jewelry, pottery, glass items, apparel, antiques, candles, soaps, quilts and more. Six local wineries will offer free tastings at the pavilion. Jerry S. Merrill, a renowned snow sculptor from Rodman, expertly carves blocks of cheese for the enjoyment of spectators.

Live entertainment will be held throughout the day at the village gazebo. Food for sale will include hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, fried dough, pulled pork, cheese curd and sweet treats. Great Lakes Cheese will provide free cheese samples.

At noon, the annual macaroni and cheese cook-off will be held at the gazebo. Judges will score homemade cheesy noodle platters based on their appearance, texture and flavor.

For the first time, a “cheezy” duck race will be hosted by the South Jefferson Rescue Squad at 1 p.m. off North Main Street on the north branch of Sandy Creek. The entry cost is $5 for the race, and cash prizes for the top three finishers will be $750, $500 and $250.

At a dunk tank in Arbor Park, people will get a chance to sink Rob Krone of WWNY-TV 7 News, Christopher B. Arquiett, owner of La Bella Fonte restaurant, and “Switchy” from Watertown Savings Bank.

Sponsored by Fuccillo Imports Inc., a children’s area with free activities and giveaways will be at Six Town Meeting Hall on East Church Street, where a variety of educational displays and booths also will be stationed. Entertainment for children will include inflatable bounce houses, pony rides, face-painting, balloons, a petting zoo and a magician. Master falconer Rick West will host his live “Birds of Prey” presentation. Free ice cream will be offered, and hardcover Scholastic books for different age groups will be given away, courtesy of Fuccillo.

A pet photo contest also will be hosted at the meeting hall. Photos of pets may be submitted from 10 a.m. to noon to enter the contest. Voting will be open to the public from noon to 2 p.m., and photos will be judged at 3 p.m. Prizes for top photos will be $50, $25 and $15.

Commemorative postage stamps to pay tribute to the festival’s fifth anniversary will be available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the village post office on East Church Street.

Before the festival begins, the fourth annual John W. Cobb Scholarship 5k walk/run will start at 9:30 a.m. downtown. Registration, which costs $20 for walkers and runners, will start at 9 a.m.

Visit www.cheddarcheesefestival.com for more information.

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