Runners, competitive eaters and cheese lovers will unite at the fifth annual Cheese-A-Palooza festival this weekend in downtown Kenosha.

The free event, sponsored by Happenings magazine and the city of Kenosha, takes place from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 1-2) along the Kenosha harbor.

The 5K Queso Run/Walk is 9 a.m. Saturday, stepping off from the corner of 53rd Street and Second Avenue. On-site registration starts at 8 a.m. Saturday. To register in advance, call 262-359-1652.

Cheese-A-Palooza activities include karaoke, eating contests, exhibitors, live music and a variety of food and beverages.

The menu, of course, revolves around cheese-themed items.

Bands perform throughout the event on three stages.

Attendees can register for eating contests in five categories: Cheese dogs, cheese pizza, mac ‘n’ cheese, grilled cheese and cheesecake.

The schedule includes:

Saturday:

1 p.m. — Karaoke Sing-Off

2 p.m. — Mac ‘n’ Cheese Eating Contest

2:30 p.m. — Appearance by Alice in Dairyland

4 p.m. — Karaoke Sing-Off

5 p.m. — Cheesecake Eating Contest

Sunday:

1 p.m. — Grilled Cheese Eating Contest

2 p.m. — Karaoke Sing-Off

3 p.m. — Cheese Pizza Eating Contest

4 p.m. — Karaoke Sing-Off

5 p.m. — Cheese Dog Eating Contest

Cheese-A-Palooza will be located along Kenosha Harbor, 53rd Street and Sixth Avenue, on Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Music

AARP STAGE

Saturday

Noon — 2 p.m. Whiskey & Harmony Duo

3 p.m. — 5 p.m. Space Echoes

6 p.m. — 8 p.m. Cap’n Funk & The Groove Train

8:30 p.m. — 10:30 p.m. Epic

Sunday

11:30 a.m. — 1:30 p.m. Frank & Dean Tribute Show

2:30 p.m. — 4:30 p.m. Bounty Hunter

5:30 p.m. — 7:30 p.m. Pet Rock

8:30 p.m. — 10:30 p.m. Infinity

SHORELINE STAGE

Saturday

11 a.m. — 1 p.m. Gypsy Duo

2 p.m. — 4 p.m. Stevie Craig

5 p.m. — 7 p.m. In The Stix

8 p.m. — 10 p.m. Karma Committee

Sunday

Noon — 1:30 p.m. TBA

1:45 — 3:45 p.m. Gasoline ’n Matches

4:30 — 6:30 p.m. Bella Button

7:30 — 9:30 p.m. My Metal Heart

About the bands

INFINITY: Infinity is one of the most successful cover bands in the area — always drawing great crowds, and for good reason. Infinity lights up the stage performing Zeppelin, Styx, Queen, REO Speedwagon, and of course, their signature group, Journey. If you have already experienced an Infinity show, you know exactly what to expect... if not, expect the unexpected, so be prepared. You might be singing along with them (and we guarantee you will), or a microphone may just appear before you.

Check out Infinity when they take the AARP Stage on Sunday at 8:30 p.m. to close out the Cheese-A-Palooza festival.

MY METAL HEART: The baldest hair band returns to Kenosha to bring you faithful recreations of the greatest rock songs from the 80s. These rockers are dressed to the nines, but their amps are turned up to 10.

See them banging their bald heads to the rock on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on the Shoreline Stage.

EPIC: Epic is an ’80s cover band from the Chicagoland area that delights their crowds with fan interaction and professionalism. Epic will engage crowds of all ages through high energy and perform the beloved songs that remain popular for today’s audiences.

KARMA COMMITTEE: Formed by ex-members of some of Chicagoland’s and the country’s biggest names. Karma Committee delivers a high energy tribute to the greatest artists from the ’90s to today, including Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Backstreet Boys, and so much more. Combining pop, dance, R&B, rock, and hip hop.

BOUNTY HUNTER: This group may be from Spring Grove, but their heart is in the deep southern rock grooves of Skynard, ZZ Top, Molly Hatchet, 38 Special and more.

ACTION TERRITORY KARAOKE FAMILY STAGE

Saturday

1 p.m. Karaoke

2 p.m. Mac ’n cheese eating contest

2:30 — 4 p.m. Karaoke

4 p.m. Cheesecake eating contest

Sunday

1 p.m. Karaoke

2 p.m. Grilled cheese eating contest

2:30 — 4 p.m. Karaoke

4 p.m. Cheesedog eating contest

For more information and to register for eating contests, log on at wisconsincheeseapalooza.com. Admission is free.

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