Put in your request for time off now. If you consider yourself a cheese enthusiast at all, there's a vacation that you must take. As most true mac and cheese devotees know, Jul. 14 is National Mac and Cheese Day. This is a day in which shredded cheddar is considered confetti. If you really want to get into the celebrations and tie it into your summer vacation, this Festival of Mac and Cheese is a must.
The Festival of Mac and Cheese is sort of like a carnival but without the rides. Don't expect to find any caramel apples. All the vendors present will have something to do with noodles and melted cheese. Which, to me, sounds like a wild ride in its own right.
Now, where exactly are you going on your summer vacation? Fort Myers, Florida, where Millennial Brewing Co., the company hosting the event, is based. Picture it — palm trees and pounds upon pounds of Mac and Cheese. Per the event's official Facebook page, you can expect "even more vendors, a macaroni and cheese competition, and some of the best chefs and food trucks in the area." Basically, this isn't going to be a fair of boxed mac and cheese. Not if the best chefs in the Fort Myers have anything to do with it.
The festival will be taking place at Millennial Brewing Co. on Sunday, Jul. 14 from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. People have been RSVP-ing rapidly to the event's Facebook page, because when it comes to mac and cheese, you don't need to think about your response for too long. The obvious answer is "will attend." Especially if there are activities like a competition involved. There's no information yet on what the "macaroni and cheese competition" will entail, but if it has anything to do with eating copious amounts of the meal, you better hope I'm not there because I would crush that.
As for what to expect as food options, no definitive list has been released. But a picture posted to the event's Facebook page by Florida food truck H-Anger Management is causing quite the stir. The pictures shows a "Spinach artichoke mac and cheese in a sourdough bread bowl" which looks ... astonishing. Don't expect your average macaroni and cheese bowls. Expect macaroni and cheese ~concoctions~.
For those with dietary restrictions — namely, dairy — you won't be excluded from the macaroni and cheese party. In fact, vegans can enjoy a festival of their own. The "VEGAN Mac and Cheese Home Cook Throwdown in Fort Myers" event will take place on Jul. 12 at 7PM. It will also be hosted by Millennial Brewing Company. If you think you have figured out the formula to creaming cashews into cheese that's better than cheddar, feel free to enter the throw down. Vegan chefs will show off their macaroni and cheese skills for your noshing pleasure.
Macaroni and cheese can be enjoyed by a wide audience. It can be prepared creamy or crispy when baked with breadcrumbs decorating the top. It can appear gourmet, freckled with slices of truffle. It can be packed with five different cheeses or spotlight one delightfully rich cheese. It can even be gluten and dairy free. Those who prefer it creamy and those who prefer it baked. And in Fort Myers, Florida all of macaroni and cheese, in all its iterations and glory, are celebrated on Jul. 14.