Here’s Everything We Know About the Upcoming Mac ‘N Cheese Festival in Mississauga
If you've always wanted more urban food festivals in the city, your wish is about to come true—the annual Black Diamond Mac 'N Cheese Festival (presented by insauga.com!) is making its way to Mississauga and will hit the city this weekend!
The three-day event is being organized by Philip Suos, the festival director behind Toronto's Mac 'N Cheese event and the recently formed Junk Food Festival. The celebration of the supremely decadent comfort food will hit Port Credit Memorial Park the last weekend of July and the event will truly be the first of its kind in Mississauga.
"This [event appeals to people of all] ages," says Suos. "Everyone loves the Canadian classic.”
Suos says a host of vendors from Mississauga, Toronto and other GTA cities will be on hand to create over 25 varieties of adventurous mac 'n cheese concoctions that pair noodles and cheese with everything from chorizo sausage to brisket to Jolly Rancher candy (yes, you read that right, Jolly Ranchers).
Suos says attendees can also expect Mac 'n cheese samosas, butter chicken mac 'n cheese and mac 'n cheese waffles. Vita Coco will be giving out free bottles of coconut water.
You might also get to enjoy fun mac ‘n cheese wraps (pictured below).
The festival will kick off on Friday, July 28 and wrap up on Sunday, July 30. On Friday, it'll run from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. On Saturday, visitors can dine on fun comfort food concoctions from 12:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.. On Sunday, the event will run from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Suos says organizers are prepared for a big turnout and are expecting to serve about 40,000 people.
In addition to the festival, there will be free movie night on July 28. The Rotary Club of Mississauga West will be screening Trolls as part of its Movie Nights in the Park series, so they'll be working with festival organizers to ensure everyone gets to enjoy great food and a movie.
"We'll be enhancing the Rotary Club movie night," says Suos. "It's a unique partnership and we're working with them. The live bands will reduce noise or stop entirely while movie is playing."
Organizers are planning to entertain the hungry masses with eating competitions, live bands and performances, Canadian cheese sampling areas, carnival games and rides and an on-site artisanal market specializing in cheese-related products. There will be a dance teacher on site to teach interested attendees how to line dance.
"People can experience all the mac and cheese vendors competing to win awards," says Suos. "Vendors can win the People's Choice Award and the Judge's Choice Award."
Last year, the festival raised $25,000 for charity at its annual Toronto event and organizers have determined that, this year, some some proceeds will go to Compass, a Mississauga-based food bank and outreach centre.
This year also won't just mark the first year Mississauga gets to enjoy a distinctly urban festival—it'll be the first year the relatively new event hits three cities. Prior to coming to Port Credit, the festival will hit Ontario Place in TO. After our weekend, mac 'n cheese lovers in Waterloo will get to enjoy a few days of decadent comfort food.
"A lot of people are excited about the opportunity to taste the dishes and it gets chefs thinking [about what kind of dishes to prepare]," says Suos.
If you're interested in attending (and we know you are), you might visit the festival's website to register for a free ticket.
For more updates on the festival as it approaches, check out its official Facebook page.
Happy eating, everyone!