I want to take a moment and step back some words I have said. Back in July, I wrote an article concerning the Pork & Brew festival. Within it, I made a lot of, well, let’s call them wild, unfounded claims. These claims got me in some hot water with the powers that be, and I want to take a second to set the record straight. I said that the festival that was being held was as patriotic as it gets, and that it was the most American food festival out there. Well here it is. The phrase many an ex-girlfriend has been waiting to hear me utter: I was wrong. I present to you the Food On-A-Stick Festival.
To avoid having to offer another retraction in the future, I will not say this is the most American food festival there is. But hot damn, it’s reaching for that title. What speaks more to the heart of the good folks in the US of A than serving their favorite foods on a stick, thereby releasing them from burdens of cutlery and table manners in favor of something far more … salacious? Long stick in hand, a typically phallic-shaped food stuff, just waiting to be brought to your mouth and swallowed down gleefully? Perhaps not this time. No doubt your deep-fried Twinkies and Snickers bars will be on full display here, but expect a change to the typical food-on-stick norm with this event.
Taking place over Labor Day weekend (Sept. 1, 11am to 9pm, and Sept. 2, 11am to 6pm) at Cliff’s Amusement Park (4800 Osuna Rd. NE), you’ll find yourself surrounded by memories of your childhood days spent running across the park in search of the next cool ride. Only this time, you’re on the hunt for the next great food adventure to partake of. Some of the amazing food trucks on site include Black Iron Catering Company, ChocGlitz & Cream, Evolve to You Catering, Gourmet Doner Kebab, Kimo’s Hawaiian BBQ, Snow Cone Xpress (side note, quite interested to see how that’s going to work with the theme) and TeddyLu Concessions.
Worried the plethora of rides at Cliff’s won’t be enough to match the joy of eating you’ll be indulging in? Fear not! Music, games and entertainment will be provided by The Crew NM. Featuring dancers, DJs, musicians and a model, their website says, “One thing we have in common is we all know how to have fun!” So expect to do that with them around.
Does that not fully sate your need for entertainment? Well then, join them on Sept. 2 for a live performance by the Partizani Brass Band. This group of 10 players focuses on a New Orleans-style percussion-driven sound and has experience with the theatrics of performance, including dancing, stilting and what is listed as “theatrical zaniness.” If that isn’t enough already, they also perform songs from all sorts of musical catalogues, including jazz, Balkan, Bollywood, funk and beyond.
The most important info, as always, is the cost. At visitalbuquerque.
While many jokes are being had here, the truth is this: There earnestly isn’t much more fun to be had than walking around a beloved childhood memory haven while eating some amazing food on the go. Stick-based or not, the vendor line-up this year is amazing, and Cliff’s has always been an absolute blast to spend an afternoon at. With entertainment, food, rides and more, it’s going to be one of the best send-offs you can give this summer. So, get the family, head down and grab a cheesecake on a stick. Ride The Rattler one last time. Buy one of those gigantic jawbreakers that your Mom said you couldn’t have but you found enough change to buy and snuck home to snack on for over a month. You’ve earned this last hoorah of summer.