Cheese rolling is a fine sport wherein participants gather themselves in teams to roll logs of cheese down a road or slope. If we’re talking about making this a race, well, the winner is the team who gets to the finish line first. Sounds pretty zany! Hold onto your hats, kids—it’s gonna be a b-b-b-bumpy ride with that cheese log!
I should clarify that in many cases, these aren’t actual hunks of dairy, but logs of wood slathered in paint so they resemble cheese rinds. But who cares about their makeup? Cheese-rolling is a wild affair. There they go, those hunks of wood cosplaying as Camembert, barreling down streets.
The English village of Stilton in Cambridgeshire (Stilton may or may not be the birthplace of Stilton cheese, pungent and marbled) has sworn by this tradition for over half a century, holding an annual cheese-rolling competition on the occasion of May Day. But the sun won’t shine in Stilton this year, I’m afraid, for the Stilton Cheese Rolling event of 2018 has been cancelled following “months of discussion.”
The race’s organizers, Olive Main and Carol Warren of the Stilton Community Association, cited a number of reasons for the cancellation of this year's event in a Facebook post last Friday: high costs, lack of security, and an inability to the control a somewhat unruly crowd who engages in underage public drinking.
This bad news was a long time coming, according to the statement. The race has been hemorrhaging participants for four years, during which it has been consistently been unable to meet its quotas of 12 to 16 men's teams and eight to 12 women's teams. Scrounging for cheese-rollers—a bit pathetic, no? The tradition had basically exhausted itself over the years.
Perhaps the most heartbreaking of the stated reasons for the event’s cancellation, though, was the apparent loss of public interest in the sport itself. The organizers had encountered a “disappointing lack of enthusiasm for taking part in the cheese rolling.” The sport, this statement claimed, "is no longer seen as 'cool'" by the public.
READ MORE: Meet the Guy Who Paints Portraits of Cheese
God, you silly kids. Don’t know anything about sports.
MUNCHIES has reached out to the Stilton Community Association for further comment regarding how the community has responded the cancellation of this year’s sport—it did, after all, release a follow-up statement on Wednesday that it will still have its race in 2019—but has yet to receive a response.
Whatever the case, the world is a little less jolly without the spirited sport of rolling logs-masquerading-as-cheese down the pavement.