WELLINGTON, Ohio — In the late 1800s, Wellington, Ohio, was the Cheese Capital of America. During its heyday in the 1870s, it led the nation in cheese production, shipping nearly 6.5 million pounds of cheese and 1.1 million pounds of butter.
In fact, there were more than 40 cheese factories in the area, and large, ice-refrigerated storage plants in the city’s downtown area, and the local newspaper was called The Cheese City Courier.
To celebrate that tradition, the city’s eighth annual Cheese Heritage Festival runs July 18-20 at the intersection of state Routes 58 and 18 in downtown Wellington. Festival hours are 5-9 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Events. New events at this year’s festival are the Colgate Country Showdown on Saturday night and a macaroni and cheese bake-off Sunday.
Other events include a cheesecake bake-off, Ohio wines tasting event, cornhole tournaments, cheese pizza eating contests, the Spirit of Cheese parade, cruise-in, food booths, cheese sales, classic car show, live entertainment and amusement rides.
For runners, arrive at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Wellington Varsity Athletic Complex to register for the 5K/10K road races.
The festival is coordinated by Main Street Wellington, recognized by the National Historic Preservation Trust as a “National Main Street” program to revitalize the central business district while preserving its historic character.