Yesterday I walked into town for the Fifth Annual Crucolo Parade sponsored by the Concord Cheese Shop. The Concord Cheese Shop is very well known for having amazing and delicious cheeses from all over the world. For the past five years, Peter Lovis, the owner, has brought in a giant (400 pound) wheel of Crucolo cheese from Italy with great ceremony.
The street was blocked off for the arrival of the cheese (one of the great things about a small town - the street is closed fairly often for special events - there is an easy way to detour this block).
Students from Concord Academy perform as the Crucolo Dancers, dressed in red, white and green and waving flags and cheese labels.
It was a chilly and clear day and a crowd of hundreds gathered for the arrival of the cheese. I stayed near the corner so I could get some photos of the horse drawn wagon when it arrived.
The barricades were moved back as the wagon approached.
Peter waved the large Italian flag and called out the arrival of the Crucolo.
The cheesemaker and other dignitaries arrived in the wagon with the cheese. The cheese has been made by the Purin family in the mountains of Trentino, Italy for 250 years.
Peter led the procession with a "Crucolo Dance" down Walden Street.
The student dancers followed with great enthusiasm.
The parade continued down Walden street with much flag waving and dancing.
These beautiful horses were very well trained and calm as they drew the wagon down the street.
Peeking through the back of the wagon you can see the huge wheel of cheese.
The crowd moved together in the area in front of the Cheese Shop. If you look carefully, you can see the Italian flag in the top right of this photo. This is where the wagon stopped for the proclamations.
The arrival of the cheese was proclaimed with great ceremony. Everything Peter said was repeated by the student group but I was a bit too far back in the crowd to hear clearly.
Some sections of the cheese were displayed in front of the store and this was the "photo opp" spot for anyone who wanted their picture taken with the cheese.
Miss Crucolo Universe and Miss Crucolo USA posed for photos with people from the crowd.
It was fun to see the excitement of the children in the crowd - it's not everyday that a huge cheese arrives in a small town with such pomp and ceremony!
After all of the proclamations and celebration it was time to cut the cheese for sampling.
Sections of cheese were cut to bite size and loaded on trays to pass through the crowd.
The cheese is delicious and the samples were appreciated by everyone.
It was a great time for townspeople (and some from far away) to see their friends and catch up on holiday plans.
People lingered for quite a while after the cheese was served.
Jason Bond, chef of the Bondir restaurant across the street carried a large piece of cheese back to his kitchen to prepare some special menu items.
As I walked back home, the light in the sky was very pretty and the First Parish Church steeple was glowing.
You can read more about the cheese parade in an article from the Boston Globe HERE and see some more photos of the event from WBUR (Boston's NPR News Station) HERE.
Does your town have any unusual traditions like this? I really enjoy quirky local celebrations and the stories behind them. Today I will head back into town and buy some of the cheese for our family to enjoy at Christmas.
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