Cheese lovers are encouraged to act now to secure remaining tickets to Cheese Champion, the crowning event of the World Championship Cheese Contest, and watch as officials name the 2018 Grand Champion cheese for the very first time.

“Charged with the electricity of artisans awaiting the big announcement and featuring more cheeses than any one person could sample in an evening, Cheese Champion is the place for any true foodie,” said Kirsten Strohmenger Henning, events manager for the host organization, the Madison, Wis.-based Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association. (WCMA).

Cheese Champion will offer a taste of 60 internationally renowned cheeses and the opportunity to mingle with and learn from the world’s foremost authorities on the subject: the World Championship Cheese Contest judges. The event will also feature samples from other artisanal food favorites — including Underground Meats and Quince & Apple — and samples of local craft brews, WCMA said. A cash bar will also be available.

Cheese Champion will be held in the Monona Terrace Exhibition Hall in downtown Madison on March 8 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. This year’s program will be emceed by the “Cheese Twins,” Michael and Charlie Kalish, well-known in the cheese world and famous beyond it for their appearances on Food Network shows such as “Chopped,” “The Great Food Truck Race” and “The Big Cheese,” WCMA said.

Tickets to Cheese Champion are on sale now at for $25. This event is open to only 500 attendees, and more than 300 tickets have already been reserved.