Every year, during the last full weekend of April, the small town of South Pittsburg hosts The National Cornbread Festival, a two-day celebration of local food and traditions. The Festival was started in 1996 by a group of local residents to promote local businesses, attract visitors and positively engage people. Over 350 community volunteers of all ages, prepare the festival for about eight months to make sure everybody has a fun-filled weekend. South Pittsburg is located in Marion County, 40-km (25 mi) from Chattanooga. It was founded in the 1860s due to mining operations in the area.
One of the festival's main attraction is Cornbread Alley, where visitors can sample many varieties of cornbread and learn about their recipes. A Cornbread Eating Contest, cooking demonstrations and presentations, as well as live music contribute to the festival's weekend-long vibrant atmosphere. Besides that, dozens of arts and crafts, and local vendors offering original souvenirs and gifts. In addition to cornbread, there is plenty of honey, fudge, rock candies, and other Southern delicacies. Visitors can tour the historic town of South Pittsburg and local Lodge Cast Iron Foundry and even run a 5K Cornbread Race. Family activities and inflatables will be available at Kid’s Corner. The festival runs approximately from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during both days.