National Fried Chicken Festival reimagined as weeklong event to support restaurants

Organizers for the National Fried Chicken Festival launch a new event celebrating all things fried chicken in lieu of the festival’s cancellation.

Now, organizers will reimagine the fest as National Fried Chicken Festival Week, a weeklong event showcasing some of the various restaurants and non-food vendors that were scheduled to appear at this year’s festival. The event runs from Oct. 18 to Oct. 24.

2018 Fall Festival Schedule features fried chicken fest
Photo courtesy: National Fried Chicken Festival

For the second year in a row, the Fried Chicken Fest was canceled due to another spike in coronavirus cases in the region. The event was originally scheduled for Oct. 23 and Oct. 24 along the New Orleans Lakefront.

Cleveland Spears, organizer and president/CEO of the Spears Group says he created the event to support businesses “reeling from multiple disasters” including the pandemic and Hurricane Ida.

“While we were unable to put on our festival as planned, we wanted to look at other ways to assist our local businesses and culture bearers who are struggling and in need of assistance,” Spears said.

Across the city and throughout the week, partnering restaurants will feature off-menu items that would have been served at this year’s in-person festival.

Here are some of the participating food vendors and specials:

  • Heard Dat Kitchen – Bourbon Street Love, Fried chicken over mac and cheese topped with our crawdat cream sauce
  • Ma Mamma’s House of Cornbread Chicken & Waffles – Festival golden naked chicken wings; waffle fries and mini waffle
  • NOLA Crawfish King – Foghorn sandwich and chicken wings
  • Tasty Treat – Fried chicken and collard greens sandwich
  • Fiorella’s Cafe – 2 pc. chicken with potato salad; 6 pc. wing plate with a side.
  • We Dat’s – Wuzzam Wings — tossed in our wuzzam Buffalo Sauce and sprinkled with Lemon Pepper; Spicy Garlic Wings
  • Cocina – 3 Wings and Yuca Fries with dipping sauce; 6 Wings (Spanish-marinated) and Yuca Fries with dipping sauce
  • Asian Outdoor Kitchen – Dirty Bird Fries and Lemongrass chicken skewers
  • Fresh Fruit Sensation – Handmade fresh fruit drink
  • Mae’s Bakeshop – Brown Butter Jumbo Cookie: caramelized white chocolate chips, topped with crispy chicken skin and salted caramel Chicken Fat Blondie: milk chocolate icing, salted cashew brittle
  • Keyla’s Pralines – Pralines, Pecan bread pudding top with praline sauce, Roasted Candied pecans, Praline Chocolate brownie, Praline sweet potato pie, Praline chocolate chip cookie

Other participating food vendors include Gus’s Fried Chicken, Tiger’s Creole Cuisine, Soule’ Cafe, Southern’s, Sno-La and Old School Eats.

A complete list of participating restaurants, vendors, offerings and ways to help support local businesses, musicians and more will be posted on the festival’s website.

For more information, visit friedchickenfestival.com.


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