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What Does Cornbread Have to do with a Carnival Ride?
Cornbread is a perfectly good reason to have a fair, if you are the little town of South Pittsburgh, Tennessee. For twenty years, cornbread cooks (chefs?) have been gathering in this otherwise sleepy little town that has seen better days to see who can cook up best recipes. The national winner earns a prize of $5,000 and a professional range (valued at $3,250), plus other prizes.
There is a connection: South Pittsburgh is the home of Lodge Cast Iron Cookware, a major sponsor of the festival. Martha White is another major sponsor, and all competing recipes must be made with Martha White cornbread mix. There is also an area where fair-goers can taste a variety of cornbread recipes and vote for the one(s) liked best.
The festival has grown over the years. The main street in town is shut down an becomes a major shopping mall and street fair. There are several stages and other music venues with continuous live performances. And of course, there are food vendors offering everything from barbecue to fried turkey legs, as well as many sweet treats. There are old farm tractors, vintage campers, a street dance the first night, and Barney Fife and his police cruiser (at least in the past). This is a family event, but wear comfortable shoes. There is a lot to see and do.
And, of course, there is the carnival or fair rides and games.
This year, 2016, the festival is scheduled for April 21 – 24. Admission is $5.00 (preschool children are free). Note, pets are not permitted and there are no kennel facilities.