Cheese lovers, rejoice! A new can’t-miss event is coming soon to Florida. The city of DeLand will host the inaugural Stella Artois Florida Cheese Festival, Saturday, April 16. This first-time festival will include over 35 varieties of cheese for fromage lovers to savor and sample.
The festival is free to the public, with tickets available for unlimited samples of the cheeses on display. Presented by Cabot Creamery and Gourmet Foods International (GFI), cheeses will include Cheddar, Swiss, Brie, Goat, Blue, Mozzarella, Feta, Italian, Pimento and Veggie. Advance tickets for the cheeses can be purchased at a special discounted price of $10 athttp://www.floridacheesefestival.com.
The festival will be held in the city’s historic downtown district on Indiana Avenue, running between Woodland and Alabama Streets. There will be live entertainment on the main concert stage all day. Musicians scheduled to appear include former American Idol contestant Michelle Marie and oldies crooner Michael Russo.
Belgian brewer Stella Artois’ highly acclaimed Mobile Airstream Bar will be the center of the beer and wine garden, where festivalgoers will be able to select pairings of wine, beer and cheeses. This high-end experiential draft trailer is a sleek gastro bar and features Stella Artois specialty sinks and an iconic Swan Draft Tower as part of the brand’s nine-step pouring ritual.
Also on tap for the day is the film presentation Pimento Cheese Please!, a documentary by Nicole Lang that will run continuously at the Artisan Alley Garage on Georgia Avenue. Activities for the kids include a bounce house and face painting.
“We’re thrilled to host the first Cheese Festival in Florida, and West Volusia was the ideal area due to its long history of dairy farmers,” said Michael Benedict, President of Benedict Advertising & Marketing. “We were looking to bring a unique kind of celebration to the area and were pleasantly surprised to find that no one had ever done anything like this in Florida.”
Renee Tallevast, Executive Director of the West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority, is looking forward to the festival and what it will do for the local economy. “We expect a good turnout not only from Florida and the local area, but from Georgia and Alabama as well. It’s a great opportunity to increase room occupancy at our hotels and introduce new visitors to what our area has to offer.”
West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority’s mission is to develop and support marketing and advertising programs that bring increased tourism to West Volusia County, and to demonstrate the desirability of West Volusia as a tourism destination. The Authority works with area hoteliers, tour providers, attractions and event promoters, to represent the area to vacationers, tour operators, travel and meeting planners, and the media.