It's a little ways off, but it's never too early to start fixating on making and consuming cheese dip. Local attorney Nick Rogers, the man behind "In Queso Fever," a short documentary on the Arkansas origins of cheese dip that's screening at the Little Rock Film Fest, is branching out in a major way. He's established a nonprofit, the Southern Cheese Dip Academy, and an annual festival, the World Cheese Dip Championship. The latter comes to Dickey-Stephens Park on October 9. Velveeta and Ro*tel are, aptly, co-presenters. There’ll be cheese dip competitions in professional and amateur classes, cheese dip tastings, beer and wine, the Arkansas/Texas A&M football game on the jumbotron, live music and more. Stay tuned for more info, including how to register to compete.
See the full press release after the jump.
The 1st Annual World Cheese Dip Championship presented by Velveeta and Ro*tel, scheduled for October 9, 2010, is an exciting new event that will take place at Dickey-Stephens Park in the historic Argenta Arts District in downtown North Little Rock. The event will serve as a destination for one of America’s most unique and fun food festivals and celebrate a culinary phenomenon with an Arkansas birthplace, cheese dip. Whether it is yellow or white, Arkansans and fellow Southerners love their cheese dip like no other region and are proud of the dish’s growing popularity. Under the umbrella of the non-profit Southern Cheese Dip Academy, the World Cheese Dip Championship’s mission is to create a first class event and draw festival participants and attendees from throughout Arkansas and across the United States and become the single critical authority on all things cheese dip.
The non-profit Southern Cheese Dip Academy is proud to be partnering with another local 501(c)3, Harmony Health Clinic, and has named the Clinic to be the prime financial beneficiary of the World Cheese Dip Championship presented by Velveeta and Ro*tel. Harmony Health Clinic is the only private, secular free medical and dental clinic in Central Arkansas. The Clinic provides no-cost health care to local residents whose income does not exceed 200% of the Federal Poverty Level and are unable to obtain Medicare or private insurance. While putting on a great event is important, the Southern Cheese Dip Academy also wants to make a positive difference in the lives and health of our community.
World Cheese Dip Championship presented by Velveeta and Ro*tel contestants will be divided into Professional and Amateur categories and will vie for the coveted titles of World Professional and Amateur Cheese Dip Champions. There will be numerous sub-divisions, each with their own awards, as well as a salsa competition where participants will be using only Arkansas-grown produce. Notably, our overall Professional division champion will win the opportunity to participate in the 2011 New Orleans Roadfood Festival, www.neworleansroadfoodfestival.com, held in the historic French Quarter along world famous Royal and Bourbon Streets.
In addition to cheese dip tastings, there will be cheese making demonstrations for kids and adults, live music, arts and crafts vendors, chip making demonstrations, a tent featuring Arkansas made cheese paired with Arkansas beers and wines, and we plan on showing the Arkansas / Texas A&M football game on the outfield Jumbotron.
In short, the World Cheese Dip Championship will be a symbol and celebration of what makes Fall in the South so special - college football, politicians shaking hands and friends and families getting together to have a good time and of course, eating plenty of cheese dip!