23rd Annual Latino Food Festival Menudo & Pozole Cook-Off, May 28


May 27, 2023

The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for one of its most popular events of the year: the 23rd Annual Latino Food Festival Menudo and Pozole Cook-Off. The food, music and cultural festival will take place Sunday, May 28, at the Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 S. P St., Bakersfield. Organizers say Memorial Day weekend just got more exciting as attendees are in for good music, food, entertainment and camaraderie.

Organizers are also inviting interested residents or community members to sign up as participants in the Menudo and Pozole Cook-Off contest.

In this contest, participants will cook their favorite menudo or pozole dish at the event where official judges will select the top winners. Each dish is judged on a number of factors, such as taste, aroma and more. Those who place will earn cash prizes. Contestants are made up of local and state-wide participants. This competition always seems to draw plenty of fun, friendly rivalry and food interest from those who attend, organizers said.

The annual event will take place 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday May 28 at the Kern County Fairgrounds. This year’s musical headliners will be the popular Mexican music group Banda Los Sebastianes and the 80s favorites, The Mary Jane Girls: Maxi & Cheri as well as the 90s hit duo, Lighter Shade of Brown.

“This event lands on a perfect weekend to celebrate culture, music and community,” said Jay Tamsi, president/CEO of the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “Our headline performers are just as excited as we are. This annual event is perfect for families and friends to get out and enjoy a day of fun.”

Aside from the entertainment, the Menudo and Pozole Cook-Off competition has become a labor of love among family members and friends who come together to help prepare their best dish.

“This event has become a gathering of family and friends having a great time and making memories in the process of cooking and bonding,” Tamsi added.

KCHCC Board Chairwoman Olivia Garcia agrees.

“Year after year, this festival does not disappoint,” Garcia says. “It always feels like a family reunion. We see many who return to compete in the menudo and pozole categories while many others come to enjoy the cultural atmosphere and friendship. This event would not be possible without the support of our community, local businesses and sponsors. Thank you to everyone who always makes this festival memorable each time.”

Along with the menudo and pozole cook-off competitions, the festival includes a jalapeño-eating contest, a children’s activities area, health and wellness resource area, a selection of other food and consumer and informational vendors, as well as a stage of live entertainment.

Other entertainment includes Ballet Folklorico Huaztecalli, La Sonora Dinamita, Mariachi San Marcos, DJ Danny P and more.

The event is the chamber’s largest fundraiser of the year, Tamsi said. It also draws visitors from other parts of the state.

Prices vary for other vendor booth categories. Potential vendors as well as sponsors are being asked to contact the KCHCC office at (661) 633-5495 or email amora@kchcc.org.

Pre-sale tickets are $25 individually and $75 for a family four-pack tickets (family pack only online). Children under five are free. Pre-sale tickets can be purchased at the following Bakersfield locations:

• KCHCC office at 1601 H St. #201 near Truxtun Ave., in Bakersfield.

• Panchito’s Cocina: 2104 O St. in Bakersfield.

• La Mina Cantina: 4001 Auburn St. and 8020 District Blvd., in Bakersfield.

• Buena Vida Tapas & Lounge: 2500 New Stine Rd., in Bakersfield

• CM Enterprises: 1208 Main St., in Delano.

Pre-sale tickets can also be purchased online by visiting the following website: http://www.kchcc.org.

Tickets at the door will be $30 each the day of the event, and children under five are free.


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