“We should do a fried chicken festival.”
This simple comment made in passing was all that it took to get Cleveland Spears’ mind turning. While sitting at a retreat in New Orleans, the owner of the Spears Group heard this remark, made as a joke, and a deep-fried idea was born.
Why fried chicken?
If you’re asking this question, you don’t get us. Ok, ok, maybe you do, but it’s fried chicken and it’s delicious. Plus, it’s in New Orleans. We’re not saying that NOLA is the best city in the South, but we’re not not saying it, either. Just look at what’s going on the weekend of the festival…
Saturday the 24th – NOLA on Tap (huge beer festival, need we say more?)
Sunday the 25th – Fried Chicken Festival
Monday the 26th – Saints take on the Falcons at the Superdome
Beer + Chicken + Football. Does it get better than that?
Have we mentioned the exorbitant entry fee? Oh we haven’t? That’s because there isn’t one! Shockingly, this festival has completely free entry. Yep, F-R-E-E. Our favorite word.
Up-and-coming chefs will share space with renowned names like Willie Mae’s (and if you’ve never had fried chicken from Willie Mae’s, you need this in your life…like, do not pass go, do not collect any fried chicken until you reach your destination).
They’re also serving up craft beer, wine, champagne, and frozen daiquiris (and water and soda, too, of course).
What to bring…
- Cash or card to buy tastings from individual vendors (food & drinks)
- Your appetite
- Your dancing shoes
Dishes to drool over
The 26 vendors aren’t just serving straight-up fried chicken (although we’d be perfectly fine with that), they’re putting unique twists on this delicious classic.
We got a sneak peek at the offerings, and here are a few of our favorites (warning: reading the following may induce drooling and intense fried chicken cravings).
Belle’s Diner is giving a brioche bun the royal treatment by topping it with juicy, fried chicken, bacon, and honey mustard sauce. (We know, we know…we had you at bacon).
And speaking of bacon…have you ever tried a bacon-stuffed waffle? What if we said it was topped with chicken, and then topped with cane syrup and powdered sugar? Amazing.
You’ll find a chili dog topped with fried chicken strips, a fried chicken grilled cheese sandwich, fried chicken biscuits with honey and Crystal hot sauce, potato chip crusted fried chicken sandwiches…the list goes on and it’s all full of deep fried crispy deliciousness.
Is it September 25th, yet?
Of course, it wouldn’t be a New Orleans event without live music? Festival goers will be treated to musical entertainment by
Charity and love
At the festival, you’ll find a chicken tender eating contest, a fan favorite contest (submit your vote via text), a Best Chicken Contest (chosen by celebrity judges), and more fried chicken than you can shake a wing at. But we love how the festival is more than just gorging yourself (although we’re ok with that, too).
The One Love Wall is a 10 feet tall wall where guests will be invited to write a message of love. Doesn’t matter what kind of love – why you love fried chicken, why you love others…just something that leaves a message of encouragement.
Love is greater than hate, and we’re obsessed that the Fried Chicken Festival is focused on bringing people together (& with fried chicken, no less).
September 25th in Lafayette Square. You can get more details at the official Fried Chicken Festival site as they’re released.
And did we mention that Lafayette Square is a Pokémon Go Gym? Icing on the cake. Or maybe it’s more like hot sauce on the chicken (or honey if that’s more your thing).
We’ll be there on Sunday, September 25, 2016, so follow along on Twitter & Instagram at #FCF2016.