BRADENTON – The area's famed, multi-generational dairy farm, Myakka City-based Dakin Dairy, is celebrating its 5th successful year of agritourism with a fun-filled Farm Festival on on Saturday, October 5. In 2008 Dakin Dairy opened the farm to the public and added a farm tour path, a farm fun play area, and a milk bottling facility adjacent to the milking parlor.
The family-friendly event will take place from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and will feature a Mac & Cheese Cook-Off and a 5K Ranch & Kids Run, plus an assortment of games, food, artists, prizes for all ages, live music featuring Kim Betts & Gamble Creek Band, and demonstrations on Himalayan Salt Cooking, care for plants and fruits, and goat soap making. Admission is just $15 for all attendees.
The event will include an exciting collection of local agri-vendors, such as Manatee Cluck, Slow Food Greater Sarasota, Tropical Fruit Society of Manatee & Sarasota, Florida Native Plants, and more.
Other attractions include cow train rides, a farm tour, a five-acre “Farm Fun” play area, a five-acre maze, pony rides, face painting, hayrides, and a corn hole contest.
“We are thrilled to celebrate our fifth year of sharing the many blessings that come from owning and operating a farm,” said Karen Dakin, owner of Dakin Dairy Farms. “We love that we have been able to share our little world with those who wouldn’t otherwise have access to a working farm.”
The Mac & Cheese Cook-Off is open to both individuals and restaurant chefs who want to compete for the best homemade macaroni and cheese dish. Mouthwatering ribs, tender pulled pork, roasting hot dogs and homemade coleslaw will be on the featured menu to complement the Mac & Cheese tasting and judging from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
The first place winner of the cook-off has their choice of a $200 cash prize or one gallon of fresh Dakin Milk per week for one year. Registration for the Mac & Cheese Cook-off is available online at DakinDairyFarms.com and runs until September 28, 2013. The $25 entry fee for individual registrants includes the price of admission to the Farm Festival. Restaurant chefs are charged no fee for entry.
The winning restaurant entrant will be based on the amount of donations received throughout the contest, which will benefit Harvest House and LivetheLife.org.
Cosponsored by Fit2Run on University Parkway, the 5K Ranch & Kids Run offers adults and children a chance to run the scenic property at Dakin Dairy Farms. The first 40 runners to finish will be awarded a keepsake trophy, and all to participate receive a free pint of fresh Dakin Milk following the race. All kids receive a participation medal.
The Kids Run entry fee is $15, and the 5K fee is $30, both of which include the price of admission to the Farm Festival. Registration for the 5K Ranch & Kids Run is available at Fit2Run on University Parkway or online at DakinDairyFarms.com. The first 100 runners to register will get a free event T-shirt. Half of all Macaroni & Cheese Cook-Off and run entry fee proceeds will benefit Harvest House Transitional Center and LiveTheLife.org.
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