Cheese block party, festival coming to Denver this week

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DENVER — The American Cheese Society is bringing its 34th annual conference to the Mile High City beginning Wednesday.

The event will feature nearly 2,000 cheeses and a cheese block party.

The first cheese block party happens from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday at Cobbler’s Square near West 44th Avenue and Zuni Street. The event is free and open to the public. Yes, free cheese — it doesn’t get much better than that.

It will also feature live music and alcohol.

Saturday morning, the Cheeseletes 5K race will come to Larimer Square. The second annual event benefits the Daphne Zepos Teaching Award and American Cheese Education Foundation.

Tickets to run or walk in the event start at $45.

On Saturday night, the Colorado Convention Center will host the Festival of Cheese and Cheese sale with more than 2,000 cheeses.

The event starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $65. Guests can buy award-winning cheese from the conference. All proceeds will benefit the American Cheese Education Foundation.

According to the Specialty Food Association, cheese was the top category of specialty food sales in 2015, at more than $4 billion.