LOWVILLE, NY — The 15th annual Cream Cheese Festival will return to historic
downtown Lowville, in the heart of Lewis County, Saturday, Sept. 21. The free admission event — which will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. — celebrates Lowville being home to the nation’s largest cream cheese plant, Kraft Heinz, which produces Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
Lowville native Beth Hall, co-host of 7News This Morning on WWNY-TV-7 and FOX 28, will again serve as emcee for this year’s event, kicking off festivities from the Main Stage on North State Street. Musical entertainment for that stage, coordinated by Jasyn Griffin, will begin this year with Shawn Corbett performing at 11 a.m. Opening ceremonies at the Main Stage will officially kick things off at 12 p.m. and include the unveiling of the giant cheesecake across the street at the Lowville Fire Hall.
“We’re very proud to mark our 15th year of this festival, something that continues to be a highly-anticipated event in our community,” said committee chairman Jeremiah S. Papineau. “We have an amazing festival thanks to the hard work of our committee, all of which are volunteers, giving of their spare time to make this happen. We’re extremely happy we can carry on this tradition of offering another family-friendly event here in Lewis County.”
This year’s event will again include delicious food, great entertainment, vendors, wacky contests for children and adults with cash prizes awarded, and, of course, a chance to sample an amazing cheesecake created by Kraft Heinz. The ever-popular Children’s Discovery Park, located each year at Veterans Memorial Park along Parkway Drive, will return with many activities for kids including a zipline, rock climbing wall, bounce house, and much, much more.
Admission to the Children’s Discovery Park, at a cost of $5, covers all the rides and park activity all day, and choice of popcorn, cotton candy, or snow cone.
RECIPE CONTEST DETAILS
One of the most popular events at the festival is its annual recipe contest.
Those wishing to participate may pick up six free packages of Philadelphia Cream
Cheese at the Lowville Kraft Heinz facility, 7388 Utica Blvd., Wednesday, Sept. 18, and Thursday, Sept. 19, from 12 to 4 p.m. both days. Those picking up cream cheese from the local Kraft Heinz facility must furnish a copy of their recipe upon pick-up.
Entries will be judged based on presentation, creativity and taste. Points in the judging are weighted – the most points are awarded for the taste component, the next highest points are awarded in creativity, and the fewest points are awarded for presentation.
Entries must be delivered to the recipe contest booth located inside the Lowville Fire Hall between 8 and 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21. Parking is available in the Lowville Free Library lot during drop-off hours, with access to the fire hall available via the rear entry doorway on Parkway Drive.
Displays are limited to a 2 ft. by 2 ft. area on the table and only the registration number should be visible on an entry. Electrical outlets will be available.
In addition, all entries must be prepared with Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese and any recipe submitted becomes the property of Kraft Heinz.
Entries must be picked up by 2 p.m. the day of the contest. Kraft is not responsible for any dish not picked up that day.
This year’s contest will have both dessert and non-dessert categories with cash prizes awarded. First place in each category will receive $250, second place will receive $150 and third place will receive $75.
The Cream Cheese Festival has attracted much attention since it inception in 2005.
The popular travel website TripAdvisor listed the Cream Cheese Festival as one of the top 10 wackiest summer festivals in 2011 and 2012. It has also received similar designation from The Weather Channel. The event has brought much attention to Lewis County and brought many people to the region, helping the local economy if even one day a year.
In 2013, Lowville was recognized as home of the World’s Largest Cheesecake by Guinness World Records. That year, the festival welcomed a representative from Guinness World Records who certified the cheesecake made by the plant on Utica Boulevard was indeed the world’s largest. The massive creation weighed in at 6,900 pounds — more than 2,000 pounds heavier than the prior mark of 4,703 set in 2009 by a Kraft Foods plant in the country of Mexico.
Over the years, the festival has expanded from downtown North State Street to
Parkway Drive and over to American Legion Post 162, which has taken on a larger role in working with the festival each year. In fact, in addition to the Main Stage on North State Street during the festival, the American Legion hosts its own entertainment that day on the Veterans Stage, also coordinated by Jasyn Griffin.
Last year, through the coordination of American Legion Post 162 Commander C. Lee Hinkleman, soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division volunteered in great numbers.
“We are extremely grateful for their volunteering last year and look forward to having them back again this year,” said Mr. Papineau. “Their help demonstrates their commitment to the community they live in and we’re very happy to have them here.”
Mr. Papineau added volunteers are always needed for this event and those interested should reach out via email to the Cream Cheese Festival Committee.
For more information about the Cream Cheese Festival or if you would like to volunteer at the event, visit www.creamcheesefestival.com or contact committee chairman Jeremiah S. Papineau via email at email@example.com or call 315-748-6361 and leave a message.
Platinum sponsors this year include Kraft Heinz, Marks Farms, WWNY 7News/
Fox28/MeTV, the Lewis County Agricultural Society, the Lowville Business Association, and the village of Lowville.