BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Memorial Day weekend brings celebrations and festivals across Kern County including the return of the popular Latino Food Festival.

Memorial day weekend is packed with festivals and celebrations across Kern County.

The Latino Food Fest has seen thousands of people show up throughout the day returning for the first time in years. The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce organized the event.

“Every year has been absolutely amazing, and this is our first year back from COVID and this has been an amazing turnout,” Donna Hermann from the board of directors for Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce said.

The Latino Food Fest features dozens of vendors, musicians and events. Food competitions are a favorite, one of the most competitive categories is Pozole — a traditional Mexican soup or stew.

We found last year’s winner and a new contender gunning for first place with a unique spin on the classic dish.

“We have vegan pozole here. It’s 100 percent plant based,” Lauren Mercado the owner of Navera Botanicals said. “I make it with jack fruit and soy so there is no animal product whatsoever. It’s good for the planet and good for you as well.”

In the meantime, the Kern County Basque Club hosted its 48th annual Basque festival in South Bakersfield, hosting hundreds of people with music, food, dancing and games.

“It’s a great day to be with family, to be with friends and just to celebrate what makes us unique and just to have a good time,” Louis Iturriria the president of Kern County Basque Club said.