Jungle Jim’s International Market’s 2018 Big Cheese Festival is aiming to be bigger, better and cheesier than ever.
Cheese is “kind of a big deal” for the business, which stocks its shelves with more than 1,400 cheeses from all over the world, according to Jared Bowers, the store’s social media content lead.
“Cheese is just part of what we do at Jungle Jim’s, every day, which is why The Big Cheese Festival exists, and why we think it’s so special,” Bowers said.
That explains the massive size and scope of the two-day homage to fromage, which runs from noon to 5 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday at the Oscar Event Center at Jungle Jim’s International Market, 5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield.
Saturday admission is sold out.
Crafted for both fanatics and easygoing cheese enthusiasts alike, the fifth annual Big Cheese Festival offers an opportunity to sample everything from fresh-made mozzarella and ricotta, aged cheddars and gouda to pickles, olives and slices of charcuterie.
This year’s event features more than 80 booths, including beer and wine for those 21 and older, plus hundreds of cheeses, from between 80 to 100 labels represented.
A “Mac ‘N Cheese Alley” will see Keystone Mac Shack, Flipside and Oscar Event Center will be doling out samples of Mac ‘N’ Cheese on Saturday. Tickle Pickle, Parker Blue Ash and Sweet Meats BBQ will be providing the cheesy comfort food Sunday.
The event also offers family-friendly activities throughout both days. From 11 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday Cincinnati Circus and its green screen will be on site for free photos and a stilt walker with balloons. A mime is in the mix Saturday and a balloon twister on Sunday.
Classes and demonstrations will be available via Leigh Ochs, Jungle Jim’s Cooking School director. An Asiago and Blue Cheesecake demo takes place at 1 p.m. Saturday and a Baked Penne with Five Cheeses demo at 2 p.m.
On Sunday, Jungle Jim’s Eastgate Cheese Shop manager Jacob Hacker and Jon Gentry from Breckenridge Brewery in Colorado will host three classes at 1, 2 and 3 p.m.
Like 2017’s Weekend of Fire, Jungle Jim’s will spread out this year’s installment of the Big Cheese Festival out a bit and give the festival some room to breathe by expanding to the Greenhouse.
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