The Crucolo Cheese Parade is an annual event hosted by the Concord Cheese shop on the first Thursday of December. This parade would have been the 11th anniversary of this festival, but unfortunately, the festival is canceled this year.
The parade has been a part of Concord for over a decade. At two and a half hours long, the event serves as a welcoming parade for an enormous wheel of Crucolo Cheese. The Cheese Parade features live music, Miss Crucolo U.S.A., and plenty of flag-waving and cheering. Not to mention a rousing speech from shop owner Peter Lovis, featuring his famed red sweater vest and hat combination. But the main event is the wheeling of the giant cheese wheel down Main and Walden Street. Dragged by a horse-drawn carriage, the cheese has varied from 400 pounds to last year’s 1000 pound special. Once the cheese wheel has reached the end of the route, the Crucolo is ceremoniously halved and quartered. After many samples have been handed out to the crowd, the remainder of the cheese is taken to the Concord Cheese Shop, where it is available for sale.
The story of the parade begins with the Purin Family, makers of Crucolo for over 200 years. More than 10 years ago, an American importer started selling their Crucolo in the normal thirty-pound wheels. The Concord Cheese Shop was reordering so often that the Purin family asked if they wanted a larger wheel. Peter Lovis requested for the biggest wheel they had. When the cheese arrived, Lovis ceremonially cut the cheese on Main Street, and a crowd gathered. Over ten years later, this has morphed into the phenomena that is the Crucolo Cheese Parade today.
Over the past ten years, Concord Academy dancers have been performing in this parade. Richard Colton introduced this tradition, and the dance program has not looked back. The dancers carry Italian flags, signs, and more as they dance through the streets accompanied by a marching band. Together, they spread excitement among the crowd, encouraging everyone to celebrate!
But it is not just the dancers that join in on the fun. Both students and faculty alike often join the crowds of people in the streets. Especially to boarders, this parade offers a fun community experience and a welcome release from the rigors of academic work. The Crucolo Cheese Parade is an entertaining and enjoyable event for all Concord residents and members of the CA community. This keystone event will be sorely missed this year but should be continued in years to come. Just remember, absence makes the heart grow fondue, so get ready for next year’s cheese festival because it is going to be gouda!