Cedar Point's annual Frontier Festival takes over Frontier Town through June 13, and if it is as good as it has been in past years - and as good as the special teaser event that was offered to media yesterday, it's going to be the best yet. Every year a different food is featured, and this year it's cherries.
I don't think I ever realized how many different ways that cherries can be used in cooking. I counted twenty-four specialty items featuring cherries in some way that will be available at eleven different locations throughout Frontier Town. While we weren't offered everything on the menu at the media event, enough of a variety was available to tell me that this is, once again, an event that I'll be coming back to Cedar Point for.
Before I go any further, it's important to know that this event is not just a profit-generator for Cedar Point. Is it going to be fun? Yes! Tasty! Absolutely, but it's also for a great cause that is being prominently promoted by Cedar Point. Prayers From Maria is the official community partner of Frontier Festival. This is how they describe themselves, and I could never say it any better:
Bringing Hope to Children & Their Families: The Prayers from Maria Foundation is built out of love and compassion for children who suffer, and those who have died, from deadly brain tumors. Our mission is to provide childhood cancer patients with the support they desperately need, by reversing the tragic lack of funding and fueling the most meaningful brain cancer research for kids.
The sunflower is their symbol, and there are sunflowers everywhere in Frontier Town for this event: sunflower sculptures, sunflower windmills, a shop selling sunflower shirts, and an entire family games area - Shady Hollow Garden Games, where everyone wins, especially the children and their families supported by Prayers From Maria. This has become an on-going mission of Cedar Point, and personally I must commend them for supporting this worthy cause.
I'm not just saying this because they fed us, but feed us they did, and everything was amazing! We had just returned from Dollywood (I hope you read my article about the trip), and I was wondering how the specialty foods at Cedar Point would compare with the great eatin' we did in Tennessee. Honestly, Cedar Point hit it out of the park! Personally, I don't like jalapeños, but they had somehow infused them with cherry flavor enough that I still felt the gentle heat and flavor, but it didn't hurt! We had:
Cherry Pork Tacos, with jalapeños, cherry cole slaw and queso fresco,
Sweet Cherry Chicken Pizza,
Whole Hog Pulled Sliders, with cherry mojo and fire & ice pickles (the smoker was smokin' away right next to the stand, and the aroma was amazing!)
Cherry Bread Pudding,
and Cherry Streusel Pizza.
Specialty drinks offered included a Black Cherry Bandit (a blend of hand-crafted lemonades infused with basil lemon and black cherry syrup) and a Sunflower Spritz (sweet mango nectar layers with Sprite and topped with popping mango-flavored Boba). Ok, there's no cherry in the latter, but the spirit of the sunflowers was obvious. During the actual Festival, each is available with added vodka for an upcharge.
Speaking of drinks... 36 different labels of adult beverages are available at booths labeled as "Belly Washers," offering everything from Watermelon Wheat Ale to Pearsecco Pear Cider to Lake Shore Fog Hazy IPA, and everything you can imagine in between. Of course, Coca-Cola beverages are available throughout the Festival also.
Everything is paid for by tickets, available at ticket booths on site, or ahead of time from the Cedar Point website. The price is $30 for 12 tickets, with a $5 savings if purchased online. A sample of prices for different items are:
This list is not complete, but every item's price is listed in the guide pamphlet and posted at the food booths.
A row of specialty craft shops has been set-up along one side of Town Square, renamed Artisan Square for the Frontier Festival. There are also many family-friendly games that can be enjoyed such as horseshoes, cornhole, and checkers, and live music is presented on the Gossip Gulch Stage throughout the day, with special guest appearances by regional country music performers changing weekly. The Flower Patch Shack invites kids to create their own take-home crafts; Snoopy hosts a pie-eating contest every day at 5 p.m., and every evening everyone is invited to join the Hubbub Hoedown line dancin' party.
The Frontier Festival at Cedar Point gets better and better every year. Many of the specialty foods first offered at the Festival find their way onto the menus of Cedar Point's numerous food outlets, and the quality of food options available to visitors has obviously been improving every year. I raved about the food at Dollywood, but I would now challenge their cooks to an Iron Chef battle with the chefs at Cedar Point. Remember I said that there were 24 cherry specialties listed under the title of "Tasty Vittles" on the Frontier Festival guide? We only got to taste five of them... I've got 19 more to check-out. There's a Smoked Brisket Slider with cherry bourbon BBQ sauce and some Cheesecake-filled Cherry Bombs with my name on them!
Great food and great fun for a great cause... what could be a better reason to get to Cedar Point before June 13th?
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