Cheese lovers get ready for The Big Cheese festival in Armstrong

Cheese lovers unite

Say cheese ... for The Big Cheese festival.

Formerly known as “Cheese .. It’s A Natural,” the Armstrong event is all about locally produced and processed foods and cheeses.

The event was originally introduced for the community's centennial in 2013.

The festival kicks off April 14 with an industry-only event. It’s the second year of the Food & Buyer Expo at Hassen Arena, which gives local food growers, processors and buyers the chance to meet with regional buyers.

For the rest of us cheese lovers, samples and information will be available April 15.

Not only will cheese be on the menu, but also a variety of North Okanagan-Shuswap food and dairy products will be available for tasting and purchase.

The event starts at 9 a.m. and costs $2 per person. Non-perishable food bank donations will also be accepted.

There will also be seminars (10 a.m. and 2 p.m.) hosted by Canadian Cheese Ambassador David Beaudoin, the creator of Squeaky Cheese. Register at the welcome table.

Attendees also have the chance to soak up Beaudoin's cheese knowledge at the ambassador's dinner taking place at 6 p.m. on the 15th. Tickets are $70 and are available for purchase until April 11 from the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce.

Two competitions are part of the festival. The cheese ball competition runs from 10 to 11 a.m., and the grilled cheese competition will begin at 11 a.m. Winners will be announced at 1 p.m.

To check out which local food producers will be at the event, check out the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber website.

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