Saturday, March 7, 2015

March Goes Rogue

Mount McLoughlin overlooking Central Point
The Month of March has hosted notable celebrations since early Roman times.  Today its most popular association is with Saint Patrick, drawing crowds on March 17th to Dublin, Boston, and even Butte, Montana.

But the tastiest mid-March party on the planet has been quietly growing near the Rogue River in southern Oregon for more than a decade with roots extending into the 1930's when Rogue Creamery founder, Tom Vella, held annual community picnics in Central Point on the company grounds.

Rogue Creamery Shop in Central Point
David Gremmels and Cary Bryant purchased Rogue Creamery from the Vella Family in 2002 and re-established Tom's tradition of public celebrations.  Starting with a few years of informal gatherings in their cheese "make" room, David and Cary went on to organize the first Oregon Cheese Festival in 2005.

Tillamook Cheesemongers go Incognito!
A year after launching the Festival, David and Cary helped to form the Oregon Cheese Guild which is now responsible for producing the event. Under its guidance, the Oregon Cheese Festival has grown to over 4,000 visitors from an original 100 and delivers an affordable, unforgettable touch of magic for all age and interest levels.


Click to Open Menu PDF
Click to Open Poster PDF
The 2015 Oregon Cheese Festival happens on Saturday, March 14th at the Rogue River Creamery in Central Point, Oregon.  General Admission is $15 and includes a full day of tasting, entertainment, and fun-to-swallow education. Those 12 years old and under are welcome free of charge.

Located at 311 North Front Street (HWY 99) in Central Point, events take place in two heated tents covering over 15,000 square feet.  It's a big, warm, and wonderful party.

A Cheesemakers Dinner (menu), benefiting the non profit 501 (c) (6) Oregon Cheesemaker Guild, is scheduled on Friday, March 13th, from 6:15 P.M. – 9:00 P.M, at the Inn at the Commons in Medford, OR. Each course highlights a cheese made by one of the Festival's artisans, paired with a local wine or beer. Master of Ceremonies for the dinner, John Greeley of Gourmet Foods International, will also present pairing and appreciation classes, free with Festival Admission on Saturday. (Festival Details and Registration.)

Mid-March at the Rogue will certainly deliver a Touch of Heaven, if not a Pot of Gold.  Attending your first Oregon Cheese Festival will mark the beginning of an annual affair!

2014 Photos and Video
Rogue Creamery's Oregon Blue
Official Rogue Creamery Truck
Outstanding Rogue River Blue
Culture Magazine Table
Antique Milk Bottles
Oregon Bee Store
Clear Creek Pear Brandy
Judges - Lassa Skinner & Janet Fletcher 
Oregon Olive Mill
Sarah Marcus & Jim Hoffman - Briar Rose Creamery
Peggy Smith & Sue Conley - Cowgirl Creamery
Allison & Don Hooper - Vermont Creamery
Curds and Whey Goat Cheese
Rogue River Brewing
Handmade Cheese Plates