South Pittsburg, Tennessee
Each April, the small town of South Pittsburg transforms into a mecca for lovers of cornbread, crafts, and music. The National Cornbread Festival—a nonprofit organization that partners with cast-iron producer Lodge—has given more than $1 million to local organizations and community reinvestment since its first event nearly twenty-five years ago.
The weekend includes a cornbread cook-off hosted by Lodge, a Cornbread Alley where guests can sample dozens of variations of the Southern favorite, live music throughout the festival grounds, more than one hundred arts and crafts vendors and thirty food vendors, and booths serving up free corn fritters. There’s plenty of activities, like a Cornbread 5K race, tours of historic South Pittsburg, cornbread-eating and buttermilk-chugging contests, and more. But be sure to save time for a tour of Lodge’s cast iron foundry: It’s only open to the public during the festival.