The popular South African Cheese Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The event, which is taking place at a new venue – Sandringham Farm in Stellenbosch – will once again showcase the best in cheese and other dairy products. The festival starts on Friday 29 April 2011 and finishes on Monday 2 May 2011 and it’s aimed at the whole family, with plenty on offer to keep everyone entertained.

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The SA Cheese Festival is an all-round experience. Whether you’re enjoying the vast selection of cheeses on offer, cooking with some of the country’s top chefs or perhaps even milking a cow – the event has a real carnival atmosphere. Here are some of the highlights of the festival:

  • Dairy Square is where you’ll find the air-cooled Checkers Cheese Emporium and every variety of cheese you can imagine. Visit the boutique and smaller cheese stalls to be the first to taste new products and cheeses which are being introduced at the festival. Dairy Square is also where you’ll find the Checkers Living Table, the Ladismith Cheese Music Gazebo and also the Castle Lite beer lounge.
  • Carnival Park mixes things up with international exhibitors like Bavaria, who will for the first time bring their cheeses for visitors to taste and buy. The Pinotage Association is also coming to the party, offering visitors the chance to enjoy the best in Pinotage – a truly South African cultivar. You’ll also find the Wilde Fruit Juice Kiddies Corner in the Carnival Park where jumping castles, clowns and life-size DSTV cartoon characters will keep the little ones entertained.
  • The Meander is the place to be if you’d like to take the dairy experience to a new hands-on level. Visit the Santam Agri Milk Factory if you’d like to milk a cow or ask the Worcester Museum team to show you how to make your own butter and cottage cheese. The DSTV Food Theatre gives you the opportunity to learn from top food editors and personalities, while a visit to the BBC Lifestyle Workshop is a must if you’d like to learn how to make a cheese wedding cake.
  • Lastly, the Waterfront offers visitors a place to relax after all of the festival’s activities. Grab a bite to eat at one of the food stands or relax with a cold one at the SAB Peroni Lounge. Live music from the ABSA Music Spot will keep you entertained as you take a break from the festival.

The SA Cheese Festival’s popularity has grown considerably since the first festival in 2002 when 14,000 people attended. Last year’s festival saw over 31,000 visitors enjoying the mix of fine food and entertainment.

Tickets for the 2011 SA Cheese Festival are available at Computicket and Checkers Stores. Tickets cost R90 for the Friday and Monday and R110 for the Saturday and Sunday. Senior Citizens pay R70, while children 12 years and younger can enter for free. There will be no tickets at the gates.

The festival starts at 10h00 each day and finishes at 18h00, except on the final day when the gates close at 17h00.