Cary’s pimento cheese festival

pimento cheese
Festival participant Chicken Salad Chick's pimento cheese | Photo by Chicken Salad Chick

The Town of Cary’s iconic pimento cheese festival is back this year — after being canceled last year due to the pandemic — though it will look a little different

The festival, which began in 2018, has in the past included a street festival with a long line of food trucks, vendors making creative pimento cheese concoctions, and even a sculpture of the town carved out a big block of cheese. 

This year, however, at the time that festival planning began, event restrictions and regulations were still unknown, Town of Cary Outdoor Events Coordinator Ryan O’Quinn said. 

Therefore, this year’s festival — Taste of Pimento Cheese — will instead feature 11 local restaurants serving a special pimento cheese item from June 4-13. 

For example, Ashworth Drugs is whipping up a sweet belgian waffle topped with pimento cheese + maple walnut syrup, FRESH. Local Ice Cream is offering a pimento cheese ice cream topping, and MC Restaurant is serving a Korean Seafood Pancake with kimchi pimento cheese. Each restaurant is also giving out a collector’s pin

As a second part to the festival, Grazin’ Gals has created a special charcuterie box that includes both Sweet Peak NC jalapeno pimento cheese + goat cheese pimento cheese. Customers can order the boxes online by Sat., June 5 at 5 p.m., and pick them up on Sat., June 12. 

The town is planning for the festival to be back in full force next year, and to draw the same 10,000+ attendees from all over NC and the surrounding states as it has in the past, Ryan said. We’re already counting down the days, because if there’s one specific food item that deserves it’s own festival, it’s definitely pimento cheese.