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Armstrong gets real “cheesy” at annual festival

Click to play video 'Armstrong dedicates an entire day to celebrate cheese' Armstrong dedicates an entire day to celebrate cheese
WATCH ABOVE: Community reporter Shay Galor gets a lesson on how to make a fried chicken grilled cheese sandwich at Fairways Bistro as Armstrong prepares for the sixth annual cheese festival – Nov 1, 2018

The sixth annual ‘Cheese! It’s a Natural’ festival is coming to Armstrong on Saturday, and it’s shaping up to be a ‘cheesy’ event.

David Beaudoin is nicknamed the cheese poet. He is one of the event organizers and travels the country educating and creating experiences with Canadian cheese.

“Cheese is alive and breathing. It’s a real thing. It changes, evolves and becomes so good,” Beaudoin said. “It has different aromas and flavours, and it pairs amazingly to create experiences that will bring people together.”

READ MORE: European cheese struggling to break through under Canadian quotas

One of the festival highlights is the professional grilled cheese competition that began weeks ago.

“There’s four different grilled cheeses that you can come to Armstrong and taste,” said festival organizing committee member Patti Ferguson. “There are four restaurants that are participating this year. You’ll get a ballot after you’ve tasted the sandwich and you can vote for that sandwich as your favourite.”

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There is also a grilled cheese and cheese ball competition for amateurs, so bring your family recipes and ingredients and get creative.

Beaudoin will be hosting a Cheese 101 seminar at noon, talking all about cheese and how to get creative when pairing the gooey goodness.

READ MORE: A new spin on the classic grilled cheese sandwich

Several North Okanagan cheese producers will be in attendance, including Tanto Latte, Terroir Cheese, Happy Days Dairy and Grass Roots Dairies.

The daytime event starts at 10 a.m. and is only $2 to attend. There will be food and wine samples, as well as products to purchase.

The evening event costs $35 in advance, $50 at the door and includes seven tastings as well as Okanagan Shuswap spirits.

Tickets can be picked up at the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce office and Chocoliro Finest Chocolate.