By Sonia Lemus
Lines formed in Alumni Park early on April 25 for the fourth annual Macaroni & Cheese Festival at CSU Bakersfield.
The 85-degree weather did not stop hundreds of people from attending the event, which featured live music from the local band Mento Buru, a caricaturist, henna art, wine and beer along with macaroni and cheese sampling.
There were over 29 different vendors offering samples of wine, beer and pasta.
The most popular vendors were Mowie Co. Hawaiian Fusion Feast, Centro 18, Bootleggers, RC Steakhouse and Temblor.
Attendants at the event were asked to vote for their favorite macaroni and cheese samples.
The Countryside Grill won for the second year in a row with their chile verde mac and cheese. In second place was Café Med, and third place went to Murray Farms.
This was Countryside Grill’s third appearance at the event.
They had an eye-catching display and played drums whenever they received a vote.
Steven Yates, who worked at the booth, said that the recipe for their award-winning dish is a secret.
The third place winner, Murray Farms had a sampling of a strawberry cheesecake. Murray Farms has participated at this event since it first started, and they were winners the first year.
Their cheesecake was made from organic Albion strawberries, ricotta cheese, cream cheese, white chocolate chips and a homemade graham cracker crust.
It was topped with whipped cream and an organic strawberry drizzle made with fruit from the Murray family farm.
“It’s the consistency of what we do at our farms that make our farm successful,” said Kristen Lawson, a worker at the Murray Farms’ booth.
This event gives locals an opportunity to explore Bakersfield’s businesses.
Kat Vuong and Arianne Carbone, two friends attending the event for the first time, agreed that the Macaroni & Cheese Festival encouraged them to visit these local businesses.
“It shows us as a local craft brewery. It’s great seeing how this event just shows all of the local businesses of Bakersfield,” said Taylor Freckleton, who worked at the Temblor booth.
Some of the proceeds of this event go to the Roadrunner Scholarship Fund.