Swiss cheese and all all things Swiss are in the spotlight on Thursday, October 1, Friday, October 2 and Saturday, October 3 at the 62nd Ohio Swiss Festival taking place in Sugarcreek, Ohio in the heart of Ohio Amish country. It is approximately a 1.5 hour drive from Cleveland.
Established in 1953 to promote the Swiss Cheese industry and the village of Sugarcreek (nicknamed “Ohio’s Little Switzerland”), the Ohio Swiss Festival is one of the state’s leading outdoor events. With four Swiss Cheese factories located in the area, Sugarcreek is the center of the Swiss Cheese production industry in the state of Ohio and is the leader of Swiss Cheese production in the United States.
Activities at the Ohio Swiss Festival include wine and cheese tastings (featuring wine from several local area wineries and cheese from local cheesemakers) at the fire station, a Kiddie Parade (Friday at 2 p.m.), a Grande Parade (Saturday at 2 p.m.), a kiddie tractor pull (Friday at 4 p.m.) and the Ohio Swiss Festival Queen contest. The Festival also features a yodeling contest, arts & crafts. the 5K Swiss Cheese Chase, a Big Wheel Race (Thursday at 6 p.m.), a Swiss costume contest and an antique car parade (Saturday at 1:50 p.m.). And don’t miss out on your chance to get a free Polka Dancing Lesson (Thursday at 9 p.m.) at the Pavilion.
One activity you don’t want to miss is the Steintossen, a historic tossing competition where men’s division participants throw a 138 pound stone while participants in the ladies’ division throw a 75 pound stone to see who can toss it the longest distance.. The Steintossen will take place on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday at 4:40 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Contestants can enter the day of the competition.
Musical entertainment will include performances by top polka bands like the Hank Haller Ensemble Polka Band, the Joey Tomisak Orchestra and Aaron Dussing and Polka Revolution. There will also be performances by groups from other musical genres. And be sure to catch the playing of the traditional Alphorn (Friday at 2 p.m. and Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.).
There will be lots of food available for purchase including items like bratwurst, pastas, barbecued chicken, fried Swiss Cheese and authentic Swiss cookies and fry pies. And while we are talking cheese, check out the Swiss Cheese Auction (Thursday at 7:15 p.m.) and the Crowning of the Champion Cheesemaker at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Hours for the Ohio Swiss Festival are 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. on Thursday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free. For more information about the Ohio Swiss Festival, call 888-609-7592 or get online at www.ohioswissfestival.com.
The Ohio Swiss Festival is located throughout downtown Sugarcreek, Ohio. It is approximately a 90 minute drive (I-77 South to the State Route 39 exit) from Cleveland.