5 Tips for Visiting The National Cornbread Festival
In 1997, when I was six, the first ever National Cornbread Festival took place in my hometown of South Pittsburg, Tennessee. Since then, on the last full weekend in April each year, I have watched the small town I grew up in transform into a bustling cornbread mecca. I have never missed a festival, not one, in more than twenty years. I have worked every job you could imagine (excluding the carnival), and I have brought friends from far and wide along with me for the ride. You could say I’m a cornbread enthusiast - perhaps even a cornbread professional.
Here are my (obviously, very well researched) tips for visiting The National Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburg, Tennessee:
Don’t miss Cornbread Alley.
If you only do one thing at the festival, make your way down Cornbread Alley. For just $5.00 you can eat all the cornbread your heart desires. And - it’s not your average cornbread. Here you’ll find new cornbread creations from community organizations around Marion County. All the proceeds go directly to the local non-profits that you’ll see cooking. In fact, I suggest you just come hungry, because the food at the festival is FANTASTIC and very diverse. You’re going to want to eat A LOT.
If you’re coming for the entire weekend, come to the Street Dance on Friday night - if not, come on Sunday.
On Friday night, before the festival gates open on Saturday morning, Cedar Avenue lights up with live music and fireworks. The Street Dance is free of charge, and I’ve always felt like it was a special celebration for the community and for all of the locals who work so hard to make the festival happen. It is a GOOD TIME. How can dancing in the street not be fun, after all?
If you’re skipping out on the entire weekend and only coming down for one day, I suggest Sunday. The crowd is much smaller.
Stop by the Jam Tent.
The Jam Tent is just that, a tent where people jam. The bluegrass talent is usually top notch, and it’s a great place to take a seat and catch a little shade while you enjoy some good music. This is usually where I go to sit while I enjoy a little snack.
The Cruise-In is really cool.
On Saturday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM you can head to The Dixie Freeze to see all the classic cars of your dreams. The vibe is sock hop and you’re definitely going to want a malt.
Eat something fried on a stick will you enjoy the crafts.
When I go to festivals, I really just like to wander around. The craft vendors at the festival make everything - from leather goods and ceramics to beautiful jewelry and soaps - you’re going to want to shop. I prefer to do so with something to snack on in my hand, preferably something on a stick. It is a festival, after all.
These are just a few of my favorite things to do at The National Cornbread Festival.
If you’ve visited the festival before, leave your favorites in the comments below!
Until we eat again -
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