The first year of the event we shut down the street for almost a block to allow foot traffic for the various booths and stands. On a side street we closed the area to the park in order for children to safely attend activities there. About 500 people attended. Each year the event grew to what is now a block and a half closed, plus the entire side street. There are two stages for performers and two areas for various cream cheese related games. I'm guessing that the turn-out in this county of almost 30,000 now seems to be closer to 5000 or more, with many coming from the nearby Fort Drum. We try to drive up for it every year.
The feature of the Cream Cheese Festival is, of course, cheesecake. Not just any cheesecake but the World's Largest Cheesecake lovingly made and served by Kraft employees.
You know you have reached Lewis County when you pass the vast Marks' Farms. This dairy farm currently has about 9000 head of Holstein cattle and produces about 340,000 pounds of milk daily (I got this from their website).
Crystal Pond is located in New Bremen, just east of Lowville. It's a man-made lake that is a local swimming hole in the summer and provides fundraising for the local fire department in the winter, through the harvesting of its ice.
My alma mater, Lowville Academy and Central school, is a Preschool - 12th grade school that in 2016 had 1306 students. We used to have a grass turf surrounded by a gently sloping hill, where people sat to watch the games. Above the hill was grass and a playground. Now it is turf, several tennis courts and two gravel playgrounds. Gone are the hill and grassy areas. I'm not sure this is progress.
Up until a few years ago this entrance to a lobby between the high school, middle school and elementary wings was an awesome wind tunnel. You stepped into an area tucked into the buildings and the wind would whip your hair in a cyclone and the swirling leaves tried to be woven in. So, I guess this is progress.
Looking from the wind tunnel toward the elementary wing. This brings back so many memories.
I'm sharing this because this is the same saying that I showed a few posts ago from the entrance of my son's high school.
The front of the school, looking at the high school. Aside from the new windows, it looks the same as when I graduated so long ago.
From in front of the school, looking down the street at the Cream Cheese Festival.
After half an hour they were slowly making their way through handing out the cheesecake.
The slices weren't pretty, but they were so delicious!
Looking toward the crowd gathered to watch one of the bands.
Freemen's Taffy is the best taffy ever! They are only available at the Lewis County Fair and at special events. Maybe that what makes them so good.
One of the many odd cream cheese-related games. This one is called Cream Cheese Shuffle Board. The goal is to get the cream cheese tubs through the legs of the goalie.
My son is a huge fan of the local meteorologist. She is a hometown girl and was emceeing the festival.
The son of my neighbour from here in the capital region is the drummer for the band Under Cover. The lead singer is from Lowville. They drove up to play. If you are ever in the Capital District look them up. They play classic rock and are really good!
Several songs later and they are still talking.
A friend of ours caught on camera.