LOWVILLE A record-breaking crowd estimated at 15,000 people poured into downtown Lowville for the eighth annual Cream Cheese Festival. They dined on the nations largest cheesecake, a 3,500-piece marvel from Kraft, enjoyed seven hours of music and entertainment and participated in recipe contests and other family-friendly competitions.
Those competitions are odd. Or wacky, as they were called by TripAdvisor, which listed the festival as eighth in its Top 10 list of wacky summer events in America.
Many of those wacky events involved throwing, catching or stuffing another persons face with cream cheese. About 600 pounds of cream cheese was used throughout the day.
The messy cream cheese activities were contained to specific areas, while vendors, food, games and music spread through the streets.
The kids zone is a great idea. They split the whole thing up perfectly, Joseph Marcel said of the layout of the festival while shopping at some vendors with his daughter Nadia. Its really a great family event.
There were 20 new vendors this year, according to Catherine M. OBrien, vendor coordinator.
While it was the Marcels first time at the festival, George A. Day, Chaumont, has brought his Smokeys BBQ since the inaugural year.
Its grown every year, Mr. Day said. It just keeps getting better and better.
Last year, he ran out of food to serve by 3:30 p.m. Because the event runs until 6 p.m. and a larger crowd was expected, I brought double the food this year, Mr. Day said. He again ran out by about 3:30 p.m.
Scott A. Smith, owner of Scottys Hot Dogs, agreed with the nearly double in food sales this year.
Its growing by leaps and bounds, said James Smith, also of Scottys. To me, its really a mini Remsen, he said, referring to the Remsen Barn Festival.
Earlier in the week, the high volume of Internet traffic briefly shut down the festivals website at www.creamcheesefestival.com,