NEW ORLEANS (NOLA WEEKEND) - As we reach the peak of a busy spring festival season in New Orleans, one major event already looks ahead to this fall.
Organizers of the National Fried Chicken Festival announced plans to return this fall and a new location for the event. After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the festival heads to a new home along the New Orleans Lakefront from Oct. 1 to Oct. 2.
Now in its fifth year, the Fried Chicken Fest has previously been held at Woldenberg Riverfront Park and in Lafayette Square. Organizers say the new location will provide festival-goers with more space and “beautiful waterfront views, spanning Lakeshore Drive from Franklin Avenue to the Seabrook Bridge,” according to a release.
“It has been incredible to see the return of so many events that our city has been missing over the course of the last two years,” Cleveland Spears, III, festival executive producer and president/CEO of the Spears Group, said in a release.
The National Fried Chicken Fest features live music and local and national chefs and restaurants showcasing their best versions of the dish.
Festival attendees can expect the return of the Best Fried Chicken Contest and Best Use of Chicken in a Dish Contest. The event will once again honor a New Orleans culinary icon, organizers said.
In 2021, the Fried Chicken Fest was canceled for the second year in a row due to another spike in coronavirus cases in the region. Instead, organizers reimagined the festival, turning it into a weeklong celebration as part of National Fried Chicken Festival Week last October.
Across the city and throughout that week, partnering restaurants and vendors scheduled to appear at last year’s festival featured off-menu items.
The free outdoor festival broke its attendance record at the fourth annual event in 2019, which saw over 183,000 guests across the three days.
The National Fried Chicken Festival will be the first large festival event on the Lakefront since Back to the Beach in 2005, not long before Hurricane Katrina made landfall 17 years ago.
Since its founding in 2016, the festival has been bringing food, music, family, and festivities together in celebration of the classic southern dish.
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