Fall was in the air Saturday, October 24th – and so was the smell of delicious macaroni and cheese. While not a traditional fall scent, it received a hearty welcome from all who attended the Mac and Cheese Smackdown & Children’s Festival presented by Theatre Action Project and Central Market North.
Thanks to the many dedicated volunteers, kids had a chance to participate in a variety of activities that showcased the creativity, talent, and passion for sharing the arts that Theatre Action Project has to offer. Children had a blast with TAP’s ‘Make your own Macaroni Masterpiece’ and Chef Hat. The kids and their parents dove into the array of supplies; including paint, glitter, googly eyes, feathers, beads, and every noodle you can think of! It was also a great day for parachute fun, TAP’s Red Balloon Puppet Show and World Tales and Tunes performances in the park.
Kid’s got into costume as well with great face paint designs such as pirates, tigers, butterflies, dinosaurs, and more. Not too mention dressing up to see the Biscuit Brothers! The Biscuit Brothers kicked the day off by getting the kids dancing, and Joe McDermott kept them on their feet with his fun sing-a-longs.
Despite all of the fun and creative things for everybody to do, anticipation was building all day for the Mac & Cheese Smackdown. Local chefs Hoover Alexander of Hoover’s Cooking, Lou Lambert of Lambert’s Downtown Barbecue, and Stewart Scruggs of Zoot and Wink Restaurants were pitted against each other in a friendly competition to determine the city’s best Mac and Cheese dish. Local Austin food critics, Bob Balon, Mando Reyes, Addie Broyles, and our two Kid Judge Winners, 9 year old Dotty Woods and 8 year old Malaya Wright served as our food judges. After hungrily watching all the chefs prepare their dishes and listening to the judges’ feedback, the winner was announced – Hoover Alexander of Hoover’s Cooking. Attendees were lucky enough to try samplings of the different Mac and Cheese dishes, judging for themselves which was the best.
It was a wonderful day filled with good company, great food, and the arts! More importantly, many new people got a chance to learn about the amazing things TAP does to make a difference in children’s lives every day. It was exciting to hear people discover that such a valuable organization exists in Austin and express their interest in finding out more. We’re thrilled that the Mac and Cheese Smackdown was such a success, raising two thousand and eight hundred dollars! Thank you to all our volunteers and attendees, your contribution helps us reach more youth each year!!