Aspen Mac & Cheese Festival to return in early September
August 13, 2012
ASPEN – The Aspen Mac & Cheese Festival, a hit with area residents when it was introduced last year, will return to East Hopkins Avenue’s restaurant row Sept. 8.”I have already bought 20,000 serving cups and 21,000 serving sporks,” wrote city of Aspen recreation supervisor Keith Bulicz in an email to local restaurateurs and others last month. Bulicz is the festival’s founder and organizer.The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. From small booths and pop-up tents, local restaurants and catering operations will again serve 2-ounce portions of their take on what some people consider to be the ultimate comfort food. It’ll be similar to a block party, according to marketing materials for the second annual event, with live music, clowns and balloon twisters. DJ Echo Dafunk has been lined up to entertain the crowd, “and we may have an ice sculpture of a big macaroni,” Bulicz said. During the festival, vehicles will be blocked from using East Hopkins Avenue between Mill and Monarch streets. So far, restaurants and food operators planning to participate include Rustique Bistro, Jimmy’s, Cache Cache, Steak House No. 316, Boogie’s Diner, Aspen Elks Lodge and the Red Onion. Last year, Rustique’s macaroni-and-cheese dish took first place in the crowd balloting with 506 votes. Jimmy’s was second with 417.The city has designated 20 spaces for food providers. Celebrity chef Susie Jimenez will return as a special guest.Bulicz wrote that he expects 1,500 or more people to attend this year’s event. The festival is scheduled on the same day as the 40th anniversary celebration of Little Annie’s restaurant. The Saturday farmers market in downtown Aspen, which runs through mid-October, also will be in full swing that day.For more information, email Bulicz at email@example.com or call 970-920-5140.