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'No cheese curds harmed' in the collapse of the Cheese Curd Festival storage roof

An inside look into the mess. Paul Bauer, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery CEO and owner of the property, said it is too dangerous to be assessing all the damage at this time. Submitted photo1 / 3
Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery property and other cheese curd festival items are trapped in the debris. The greatest losses are the custom-made counter and bar tops which can't be easily replaced, Becky Beissel with the Ellsworth Chamber Executive Director team said. Submitted photo2 / 3
Becky Beissel with the Ellsworth Chamber Executive Director team said the first half of the roof had collapsed in February and left their cheese curd festival property undisturbed - until the entire roof finally caved March 11. Submitted photo3 / 3

The March 12 collapsing of a roof on a storage shed used for the Ellsworth Cheese Curd Festival is just a "hiccup" in the planning stages. The incident won't derail 2019 festival progress, according to the Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce Executive Support Team.

Paul Bauer, CEO of Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, said the shed owned and located near the creamery is in a condition too dangerous to assess all the damage.

"We're kind of in a waiting game until the snow melts," Bauer said. "With the amount of snow that's out there right now, it's not like this is going to be next week. It might be awhile to wait."

He added he doesn't want anyone to go near the shed at this time as the walls may collapse next.

Becky Beissel, who is part of the Chamber Executive Support Team, said the biggest losses from the incident are a custom-made counter and bar tops used for the festival.

"The worst part of all of this is you can't just go out and buy those, they were custom built by friends and family," Beissel said. "It kind of hurts because you just can't replace that stuff. Whatever was damaged is just going to have to be rebuilt."

She said she is hoping the people who helped build them the first time will be willing to rebuild.

In light of the circumstances, Beissel said this could be an opportunity to revamp plans for the festival.

"Maybe the infrastructure we can come up with will be something better," Beissel said.

Bauer, who is also President of the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce, said this should be an interesting year and the planning team is wanting to make it better.

"You never know what will happen," Bauer said.

Beissel said she was happy to report no cheese curds were harmed in the roof collapse.

More information and updates about the Cheese Curd Festival may be found at www.facebook.com/CheeseCurdFestival

Rachel Helgeson

Rachel Helgeson

(651) 301-7864
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