The 44th edition of the Serra da Estrela Cheese Fair of Fornos de Algodres will take place today until Sunday, in the local gymnasium pavilion.

According to the mayor, Manuel Fonseca, the event will again be held this year outside the Municipal Market grounds because that equipment is being refurbished.

The mayor expects to receive during the three days of the fair, "thousands of people".

The fair brings together about 80 exhibitors of cheese and endogenous products from the municipality and the region, who will show "not only the cheese, but all the good that exists" in the territory, the official told Lusa.

Manuel Fonseca said that the municipality decided to update the regulation that allows the allocation of support to sheep and goat farmers in the municipality, to "encourage an activity that has had some problems over the years."

The mayor acknowledges that in the demarcated region "a lot has been done in terms of promoting" Serra da Estrela cheese but, at this moment, "support for production is essential."

"Cheese is an excellent engine of the economy, along with other activities, such as beekeeping, which [in the municipality of Fornos de Algodres] is also beginning to have a reasonable activity," noted the mayor.

The municipality of Fornos de Algodres currently has 133 producers and a total of 4,498 sheep.

The 44th edition of the Serra da Estrela Cheese Fair of that municipality of the district of Guarda opens its doors at 7pm today and, at 10pm there will be a concert from singer Toy.

On Saturday, at 11:30am, the inauguration session will take place, with the presence of the Deputy Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Ana Catarina Mendes, who will also participate in the inauguration of a synthetic lawn that was built by the municipality next to the complex of municipal swimming pools and the C+S School of Algodres Ovens.

On Sunday, the program of the event includes several activities, with emphasis on the delivery of the prizes of the VI Sheep Contest (10:30am), for the signing of a protocol with Turismo de Portugal and for the presentation of the municipality's tourism website. The annual event, which has free admission, ends at 6pm on Sunday.

The demarcated region of Serra da Estrela cheese production covers the municipalities of Carregal do Sal, Celorico da Beira, Fornos de Algodres, Gouveia, Mangualde, Manteigas, Nelas, Oliveira do Hospital, Penalva do Castelo, Seia, Aguiar da Beira, Arganil, Covilhã, Guarda, Tábua, Tondela, Trancoso and Viseu.