Curd is the word at this festival, but there's so much more to Festival de la Curd than just cheese.

 

Organizers unveiled the program for the 16th annual St. Albert's Curd Festival in Orleans Thursday.

 

The festival, which runs from Aug. 12 to 16, features five days of shows under a big top, a giant maze, a farmer's market, a professional rodeo and over three tons of free cheese curds.

 

This year's performers include Just for Laughs‚ Peter Macleod, Steeve Diamond, Sylvain Larocque and Julie Caron, Star Académie, Pat Groulx et les Bas Blancs and The League of Good Times.

A professional rodeo, held on Aug. 15 and 16, will feature 200 cowboys and cowgirls who will compete for more than $30,000 in prizes.

The weekend will also feature a farmer's market, which has free cooking demonstrations and samplings.

New this year is the giant hay maze, created from more than 20,000 bales and 310 tons of hay. Once inside, visitors will discover secret chambers, a petting zoo and solve puzzles. In the fall, the maze will offer learning opportunities for school children in the region.

Tickets for activities are available on site or in advance at Cheddar et cetera in Orléans, Caisse populaire Nouvel-Horizon in Embrun, Caisse populaire Trillium in Limoges and various locations in St. Albert.