Cheese curds? Ellsworth area says, ‘Yes, please!’
The 2020 Cheese Curd unFestival was highlighted Saturday by the drive-thru cheese curd stand located in the parking lot of the Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery. Portions of the profits of the Cheese Curd Festival normally go to local nonprofits, and with the majority of the festival being cancelled, the Chamber of Commerce did not want the nonprofits to miss out on some very necessary funding.
2,912 pounds of the world’s finest cheese curds were deep fried and sold for a great cause.
Ellsworth Chamber Leadership Team Member Kim Beebe shared an update with The Journal:
The day was hot! Our volunteers were superheroes! This drive-thru event was a first for us and we didn't know what to expect. We did extensive planning as a committee and tried to think
Photo by Jack McLoone. CHEESE CURDS
through every detail from traffic flow to ordertaking and to-car-delivery. A few volunteers had to shift into different or new positions after some trial and error and until we found what worked. Many stepped up to work additional shifts in the heat to cover gaps and help with the awesome turnout.
We had 1,500 cars drive through the event on Saturday. We had printed order pads and they helped us to track the number of cars served. We heard all excellent comments and feedback from the attendees. They complimented event organizers and volunteers on safety, efficiency, and friendliness! Traffic flowed efficiently with most waiting less than 10 minutes in the line. And of course, they loved the cheese curds, too. The deep friend Natural cheese curds are always a hit. This year's featured flavor was Pizza and the deep-fried version was a hit. We served them with marinara sauce. And our signature Cinnamon Sugar Deep Fried Cheese Curds gained another 'boat' load of new fans, as they do each year. Nobody thinks they're going to be good and then they try them and fall in love._ We had a lot of our die-hard Cheese Curd Festival fans come out on Saturday to support the event. They came from all over! We saw a lot of out-of-state license plates. Many commented that they had driven from 1-2 hours away and that it was worth the drive. One family came from Rockford, IL. Another family drove from Iowa! We also had a wedding party and a semi-tractor come through the drive-thru, which was fun! We also saw people going through the line more than once!
We started to run out of cheese curds, particularly the Pizza flavored curds, but the Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery was able to backfill supply to help us out. We had to close down the drive-thru about 15 minutes earlier than our posted event time due to running out of other supplies. Thankfully, traffic had slowed down significantly and we didn't have to disappoint too many.
Final numbers have not yet been tallied, but check next week’s edition of The Journal to find out how much local nonprofits will benefit from the deep fried cheese curd sale.