When you think of cheese, you probably think of Wisconsin, but one of Minnesota's oldest festivals is dedicated to it. This festival has been around since 1936. It was originally created to help dairy farmers increase their business. According to the festival's website, many dairy farmers from Europe settled in the area, making it a prime spot for cheese production. Business declined in the 1930s, so the first Cheese Festival was organized to boost sales. The inaugural event took place on September 29-30, 1936.

This year’s Cheese Festival is happening this weekend with a parade, fireworks, golf, volleyball, and pickleball tournaments, and a carnival. Learn about the Wine & Cheese Market, Beer Garden, Carnival, and Food Vendors below.

2024 Pine Island Cheese Festival

Festival Schedule:

Friday, May 31: 5 pm – 11 pm
Saturday, June 1: 11 am – 11 pm
Sunday, June 2: 11 am – 7 pm

Food Vendors for 2024:

Signboard of a food truck with colorful pennants

Pine Island Sportsman’s Club: Prime rib, hamburgers, hot dogs, brats, chips, pop/water
Delicious Delights: Shrimp basket, gyros (Chicago style), parmesan chicken sandwich, French fries, hot dog, Philly cheese steak sandwich

Two Cavemen Grill’n: Nachos, pulled pork, grilled jumbo shrimp

Pyramid Child Concession: Snow cones

Delicious Potato Skins and More: Potato skins with toppings, chicken tenders, French fries with toppings, traditional wings, jalapeño poppers with raspberry sauce

Classic Kitchen: Philly sandwich, pulled BBQ, boneless wings

Hammer Q: BBQ smoked chicken, pulled pork sandwiches, pulled pork or brisket nachos

Tribute Soda Fountain: Homemade ice cream sandwiches, root beer floats, ice cream cones/cups

Daniel’s European Cuisine: Gyros, blooming onion, alligator and shrimp on a stick, Philly cheese fries, lemonade

Tempo LLC: Ice cream

Pine Island Area Home Services/Senior Malt Wagon: Malts

Berry Blendz: Smoothies, cheese curd tacos

Taco Express: Tacos, quesadillas, walking tacos, burritos, and nachos

Regal’s Concessions: Crab fritters

Food Vendor Hours:

Friday, May 31: 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Saturday, June 1: 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Sunday, June 2: 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Cheese Festival Beer Garden:

Friday, May 31: 5:00 pm to 12:00 am
Saturday, June 1: 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm and 8:30 pm to 12:45 am

Saturday Night Entertainment:

Travis Thamert: 8:30 pm to 12:30 am

Vinopolis Wine + Cheese Market:

Robyn Mackenzie ThinkStock
Robyn Mackenzie ThinkStock

Friday: 5 pm to 12 am
Saturday: 1 pm to 1 am
Sunday: 11 am to 7 pm
The Vinopolis Wine + Cheese Market will offer cheese tasting and sales of cheeses from Italy, Spain, Greece, and local Minnesota and Wisconsin cheeses. Prices range from $6-$14 per pound. There will also be a raffle for a large parmesan roll.

Wine samples and purchases will be available from over 12 varieties, both local and international. Prices start at $6 per glass, and flights range from $25-$35. Enjoy gyros, baklava, Greek panini melts, and presentations, including a flaming cheese and wine pairing. Don’t miss this unique experience in the heart of Pine Island, where the festival began at the Pine Island Creamery/Cheese Factory!

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Gallery Credit: Troy Dunken