Oakdale’s 30th annual Testicle Festival saw a packed house at the FES Hall on Monday night, March 28. Hungry attendees feasted on the breaded bovine nuggets in the event sponsored by Oakdale’s Rotary Club and Cowboy Museum.
“I have ‘a ball’,” joked Joe Orth of Oakdale. “It’s my fourth time here.”
The gathering started at 6 p.m. where those from as far away as Bakersfield and Sacramento arrived for an open bar. City officials were also in attendance, with Rotary Club member and Oakdale Police Chief Marty West laboring in the kitchen and Mayor Pat Paul partaking in the delicacy.
Cowboy Museum Director Christie Camarillo with Rotarian and Chamber of Commerce CEO Mary Guardiola greeted those arriving, where they assisted in distributing a commemorative beer mug or wine glass with this year’s theme “30 years and still hangin’” emblazoned on the glass.
Guardiola, who moved through the hall performing multiple other duties, ensured a smooth event seeing that auction staff got their portions as well as socializing with the crowd.
The reigning Miss Oakdale Rodeo, Erin Stueve, and the 2011 rodeo queen contestants were on hand selling Festival memorabilia to interested onlookers who gathered up shirts and caps.
Miss Oakdale Rodeo contestant Tracy Hinson, at the urging of her fellow competitors, tried the featured bull testicles for the first time.
“They’re mushier than I thought,” said Hinson, who attends San Jose State University. “The other girls told me they’d taste like regular meat.”
Cathy Tuscher of Oakdale was another first-timer who sampled the marinated and fried testicles.
“I liked them,” said Tuscher. “They were good. I’ll be back.”
The fare served not only included plenty of the “Rocky Mountain oysters,” but also chili, Caesar salad, garlic bread, and plenty of wine at the tables. Participants were encouraged to go back for “seconds.”
The evening was capped by an auction of several items that included trips, fine wines and a shotgun.
“It’s a fun event that supports two great organizations, Oakdale Rotary and Oakdale Cowboy Museum,” stated Guardiola after the event. “Sometimes I wonder why I became a Rotarian, then I go to a fun event with great people like this and I am reminded.”