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 Curd Festival in Orleans recently.

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

More than 20,000 people are expected at the festival this year, said spokesman Jean Bruyère. “Curd is a very unique thing to eastern Ontario. St-Albert is known for fresh cheese curd, and this is a good way to celebrate that,” he said.

This year’s performers include Just for Laughs’ Peter Macleod, Steve 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 also features a farmers’ market, with free cooking demonstrations and samplings. New this year is a giant hay maze, created from more than 20,000 bales and 310 tons of hay. Inside, visitors will discover secret chambers, a petting zoo and solve puzzles.