BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Who doesn’t love a nice bowl of macaroni and cheese? We do — and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that many people across North Dakota do as well. Those pasta lovers are in for a treat this May, as the first annual Mac & Cheese Festival will be coming to the state’s capital city.

At the event — which will take place Saturday, May 13 at Bismarck’s Cottonwood Park from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. — attendees will be able to not only enjoy the classic dish, but also unique spins on it from local restaurants and food trucks, as well as both domestic and local craft drinks. Currently, the following businesses have been confirmed as vendors:


  • Laughing Sun Brewing Co.
  • Stonehome Brewing Co.


  • Blue Bird Grille
  • Hensley’s Tasty Truck

The highlight of the event is, of course, the voting for the state’s favorite mac and cheese dish. Not only will attendees be able to cast their own votes, but each vendor will also have their work judged by the Cheddar Council — a panel of expert and celebrity judges who will choose the best dish in the event by weighing factors like execution, appearance, and of course, taste. Currently, only one member of the council has been confirmed — Phil Schultz, creator of the Facebook group BisMan Eats.

The judge’s pick for the best mac and cheese will earn the vendor a Golden Ticket — a guaranteed waived entry into the Rice/Noodle category at the 2023 World Food Championships (valued at $2,500).

In addition to food and drink, tickets will include commemorative items, live music, inflatables, yard games, and more. There are five different tickets available for purchase. Below is a list of the packages available, as well as what they entail:

  • Mac Daddies with Beer — Includes ten Mac Tokens (redeemable for four ounces of Mac and Cheese at any vendor), ten Beer Tokens (redeemable for six ounces of beer), a souvenir spork, lanyard, koozie and plastic cup, and VIP Early Access to the event. $55
  • Just the Mac Daddies — Includes ten Mac Tokens, a souvenir spork, lanyard and koozie, and VIP Early Access to the event. Limited to 500 tickets. $45
  • Mac and Beers — Includes five Mac Tokens, five Beer Tokens, and a souvenir spork, lanyard, and plastic cup. $35
  • Just the Mac — Includes five Mac Tokens and a souvenir spork and lanyard. $25
  • Lil’ Mac — Only available for children. Includes three Mac Tokens, one Ice Cream, a souvenir spork and lanyard, and free access to the Fun Zone. $15

To learn more about the event and purchase ticket packages, visit the festival’s website here. Tickets are limited. Restaurants and food trucks interested in participating in the event can email to learn how to register.