Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Cheese Curd Festival?

It’s our food and music celebration of those delectable, squeaky, nuggets of goodness made famous by our local Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery. In 1984, by proclamation of the Governor of Wisconsin, our village was named Cheese Curd Capital of Wisconsin. It’s a pretty big deal and in true Wisconsin fashion, we like to make a party of it!

Where is the Cheese Curd Festival held?

The Cheese Curd Festival is held in Ellsworth, WI, with the heart of the event in the village’s East End Park. As the popularity of the festival has grown, the footprint of the event has expanded to include the park and adjacent streets!

Ellsworth is just an hour from most metro areas, it’s a beautiful and scenic drive through western Wisconsin’s farm country. Get directions here.

What are the festival dates?

The Ellsworth Cheese Curd Festival is held Friday evening and Saturday towards the end of June (June is Dairy Month after all). In 2019, the festival will be held, Friday, June 21 and Saturday, June 22.

Can I bring my pet?

Sorry to be party-poopers, but pets are not permitted on the festival grounds (with the exception of service animals). This is where most of the events and activities take place so we advise you to leave your dogs, cats, cows, and chickens at home. With the crowds, we have a feeling they’ll be more comfortable there anyway.

Is the festival 21+?

While many of the festival’s events cater to adults, there’s plenty for the whole family, including a family-friendly real dairy ice cream tasting experience, Milk & Cookie Pairing, the Straw Bale Playland, and more. And kids of all ages will enjoy the Classic Car Show, music, and vendor market. Check out our schedule of events here.

Is there an admission charge?

Admission to the festival and parking and shuttle service are all free. You’ll have access to all the music and entertainment. Some activities, such as our tasting experiences, require pre-registration and tickets. You’ll find registration and ticket information here.

Will there be anything to eat at the Festival other than cheese?

Of course, all your favorite festival foods are here, many incorporating cheese and cheese curds, some not. You won’t leave hungry, that’s for sure! Check out some of the festival food offerings, and the genius behind these delicacies, here.

Is there seating at the festival?

Yes, depending on where in the park you’re hanging out you’ll find benches, tables and chairs, and picnic tables. You’re also welcome to bring a picnic blanket or your own folding lawn chairs–that will get you a front row seat to the various musical performances and events!

Do you ever run out of cheese curds?

Thankfully, we have Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery making cheese curds 24/7, 180,000 lbs at a time, right in our own backyard! Fresh cheese curds are delivered to the festival daily for deep frying our famous hand battered cheese curds and cinnamon sugar dessert curds. Natural and flavored cheese curds in retail packaging are available for purchase on the festival grounds, and Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery is a short walk away. Visit their retail store for fresh curds in all kinds of flavors and to browse the other 250+ varieties of cheese sold there!

What if it rains?

The Cheese Curd Festival will go on, rain or shine! We’ve never cancelled the festival, and never will. Tents and pavilions offer shelter should we experience a rain shower.

Where do I purchase Tasting Experience tickets?

Tickets and reservations for the tasting experiences are available here. When available, we encourage you to purchase your tickets online in advance for fast-pass access! To ensure the best experience, space for some of the tasting events are limited and those tickets do tend to sell out. If by chance space is available on the day of the event, they will be sold onsite.

Where’s the best place to park?

You’ll be glad to know that there is free parking and free continuous shuttles to the festival grounds! Shuttle Service Hours: Friday: 4pm-10:30pm and Saturday 8am-10:30pm. Watch for signs to guide you to our shuttle parking lots: Ellsworth Elementary School – S Piety Street and Pierce County Office Building lot – W Kinne Street and W Grove Street. Parking is also allowed on all village streets (except where posted). Learn more about parking here.

INSIDER TIP: We recommend taking the shuttle. It’s a short ride between the festival parking lots and festival grounds. Free and continuous shuttle service allows you to get in on all the food, music, shopping, and fun without a long wait (or walk). You’ll be dropped at the festival’s main entrance with immediate access to all the Cheese Curd Festival has to offer!

Is there an ATM machine at the festival?

Yes, you’ll find an ATM machine adjacent to the park at Associated Bank as well as in the Festival Store on Wall Street.

Can I volunteer for the Cheese Curd Festival?

For an event such as the Ellsworth Cheese Curd Festival to be successful, many man-hours and dedicated and energetic volunteers are needed. We’re always on the lookout for more and have made volunteering a win-win-win opportunity! When you volunteer, you not only feel good about promoting the Ellsworth area, a donation for each hour you work goes back to an Ellsworth Chamber supported charity of your choosing! For more information contact us here.

Who do I contact about sponsorship and vendor opportunities?

The Cheese Curd Festival is a great way to get your business name in front of a diverse and energetic audience! You’ll find more information about becoming a festival sponsor here.

We’re always looking to add unique street food items to the festival food lineup, particularly those who serve cheese curds in creative ways. You’ll find more information about joining us as a food truck vendor here.

Vendors highlighting regional specialties and locally grown, handmade and handcrafted items, such as pre-packaged specialty foods, reclaimed art and furniture, yard and garden art, clothing, jewelry and accessories, and Americana, are the perfect fit for our festival. More information about our Festival’s Market can be found here.

Is the Festival accessible to persons with disabilities?

The Cheese Curd Festival is held in a natural, outdoor setting. There are various types of terrain throughout the grounds including grass, hard packed dirt, gravel, and blacktop roadways. The festival grounds are at two levels, the upper level is mostly paved at street and sidewalk level. This is where the food trucks, Cheese Curd Central booths, one bar, and the tasting tent are located. The lower grounds in East End Park is a natural (mostly level) grassy area with a paved path, accessible via stairs on the east end of the park, or a road-level pathway near the western tip on Wall Street. In this area you will find the music stages, children’s playland, and 2 of 3 bars. The vendor market is located on Broadway Street.

The festival grounds are large and there are some distances to be covered if you plan to take in all the festivities. As with any natural terrain, rain can impact the conditions.

We have a limited number of designated disabled accessible parking spaces (watch for signs) on a first come first served basis. Disabled accessible portable toilets are also available. If you are capable of boarding a bus, we recommend parking at the Ellsworth Elementary/High School parking lot where the majority of disabled accessible parking and continuous shuttle bus service are available. Vehicles must have appropriate plates or permits to park in accessible spaces. All parking is on a first-come, first served basis.