Saturday, March 28, 2009

They're Really Having a Ball

Think twice about continuing if you plan on eating any time soon. Unless you like to eat testicles, that is.
It's not every story that makes me think seriously about all the synonyms for testicles.

But, well, the Oakdale Testicle Festival isn't just any festival.

So let's get them all out of our system now: gonads, balls, nuts, rocks, bollocks and family jewels. I could go on, but should stop while I have some dignity intact.

As the name suggests, the event celebrates cattle unmentionables in all their glory. A joint fund-raiser for the Oakdale Rotary Club and Cowboy Museum, the event is now in its 28 years.

For years, the fete was called the Calf Fry as the largest fundraiser for the town's Rotary Club. But then the group joined forces with the Cowboy Museum and the more direct, more catchy Testicle Festival was launched in 2003. Since then, the festival has gone from fewer than 200 guests to more than 450 a year.

The evening is less a strolling, browsing around festival and more of a sit-down, chow-down dinner. Some 400 pounds of the unique dining experience are fried up in a secret recipe and served to guests for $50 a ticket ($65 if you wait and get it at the door).

The event fills Oakdale's largest hall, the FES Hall. Last year, it raised $28,000.

But enough with the boring details, give us the gory details. You know, what do they taste like?

Christie Camarillo, executive director of the Oakdale Cowboy Museum, swears they're delicious.

"They kind of taste like chicken. I say it's between fried calamari and chicken liver," she said. "I've had them fixed all different ways, but you can't beat how the Rotarians do it."

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