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It’s ‘Cornbread Time’ in South Pittsburg!

It’s that time of the year again…when hundreds of thousands of people descend on the otherwise quiet and peaceful town of South Pittsburg in southern Marion County with one thing in mind…Cornbread!

The National Cornbread Festival makes its return for the 21st annual festival this weekend along South Pittsburg’s historic Cedar Avenue and adjacent streets. The festival, which features arts, crafts, music and entertainment, the cook-off contests, and plenty of delicious foods — including Cornbread Alley — has a little something for everyone young and old.

The annual festival is a major tourism draw for Marion County each spring and accounts for a lot of business for our local restaurants, hotels, convenience stores, and more. Aside from the boom for local businesses, the festival brings in much-needed tax dollars from those visiting which funds many various things in the county. The National Cornbread Festival also gives back to our community, too. From funding streetscaping projects to our local schools, a lot of good comes from this annual event locally.

Last year’s festival saw the biggest crowds ever to attend the annual two-day festival, with people coming from all over the country to attend the much-celebrated 20th year. That along with picture perfect springtime weather made for the biggest crowds ever seen. Organizers say they expect large crowds for this year’s festival as well and have worked hard since last year to ensure that your festival experience goes smoothly — from parking to admission.

If you want to get an early start on the festivities? Come out Friday evening for the Street Dance on Cedar Avenue! Opening ceremonies kick-off at 6:00 pm CDT, followed by a performance by The Malemen Band and ending with a fireworks show!

And, of course, the carnival is underway through Sunday, too… operating from 6:00 PM until close on Friday and 10:00 AM until close on Saturday and Sunday. You can purchase tickets to ride or get an unlimited rides armband each day for $20.

The 4H Cook-Off takes place Saturday morning from 9:15 – Noon, and this year organizers say they’re excited to have a very special emcee! Logan Guleff, winner of the national television show MasterChef Junior (hosted by Gordon Ramsay) on FOX! http://ow.ly/H7Jp30berPu

In addition to cornbread, there are over 30 unique food vendors at this year’s festival Whether you’re craving chicken on a stick, pinto beans, jambalaya or something sweet like chocolate-covered cheesecake, there’s something to satisfy everyone. View the full list of food vendors here: http://ow.ly/b6RG30baviu

Aside from the arts, crafts, the carnival rides and great smells from all that food, the sounds of music fill the air all weekend, too. Headlining this year’s festival is country star Keith Anderson at 6:00 pm CDT Saturday evening on the First Volunteer Stage. You can also hear blues, country, gospel, folk, jazz, local school choruses, and more! You can find the full list of the 40+ musical acts at this year’s festival here: http://ow.ly/HFDD30bc9E5

 

Love classic cars? The Dixie Freeze hosts an annual cruise-in at their location adjacent to the festival grounds each year. Come take a look or drive up in your classic ride and show it off! The cruise-in is held Saturday from 10:00 AM until 8:00 PM with music from DJ Kyle Holland with www.CarShowMusic.com, along with prizes and great food! Learn more:

And if you can’t attend, don’t forget to join Lodge Cast Iron on Facebook LIVE on Saturday, April 29 beginning at 1:00 pm CST to watch the National Cook-Off AND for a chance to win a vintage cast iron Dutch Oven, donated by the Cast Iron Cooking Facebook group!

If you do plan to attend, organizers say this year the festival is even more accessible with the addition of large parking areas, traffic control and shuttles to and from the event. The best parking is said to be on 12th Street (GPS:  34.998277,-85.711246) From Interstate 24: Take  Exit 152 onto Highway 72 west. Stay on 72 past the split to downtown South Pittsburg then take the second right on 12th.

The festival is open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm CDT on Saturday and 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Sunday.  Admission is $7 per day and preschool children are free.

For the complete schedule of events, visit http://nationalcornbread.com/schedule/

Have some fun this weekend in South Pittsburg with the 21st Annual National Cornbread Festival!

 

 

 

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