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Friday, September 30, 2016

Food fest news: Fried Chicken Festival, Hot Diggity Dog and Daiquiri Season

Posted By on Fri, Sep 30, 2016 at 11:38 AM

click to enlarge More than 40,000 people packed Lafayette Square last weekend for the inaugural Fried Chicken Festival. - HELEN FREUND
  • More than 40,000 people packed Lafayette Square last weekend for the inaugural Fried Chicken Festival.

Following a hugely successful turnout, organizers for the Fried Chicken Festival announced they would extend the festival to two days and move to a bigger location next year.

More than 40,000 people packed the confines of Lafayette Square last weekend for the inaugural festival, which was double the original estimate of 20,000 from organizers. Though the turnout was great, the lines were anything but. Wait times for some of the 26 vendors stretched to more than two hours, and many booths sold out before days’ end.

"We are so humbled and honored by the overwhelming success of the first Fried Chicken Festival, because not only were we able to bring 40,000 people together, we gave $10,000 to local organizations, honored a New Orleans icon, and allowed local restaurants to showcase their best dishes on such a large scale," said Cleveland Spears, III, the festival’s organizer and President and CEO of the Spears Group. 

"Having the largest attendance of any first-year festival is something that we are very proud of. However, we acknowledge that there are many areas that we can improve upon to enhance our guest experiences.”

The first-ever Hot Diggity Dog Fest takes over Kenner’s Laketown Park on Oct. 1.

The free festival runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will feature food, arts and live music.
Keeping with the "dog" theme, several food vendors will be selling different iterations of the summertime staple, including deep-fried hot dogs, waffle dogs, hot dog Frito pie and hot dogs in blankets. The list of 12 vendors includes Chilangos, Petite Rouge, Queen on Wheels and Lucky Dog, among others.

Arts and crafts vendors for kids and pooch-friendly activities are provided by a number of organizations including the Jefferson SPCA.

All proceeds from the festival will go towards building a dog park inside Kenner City Park. For more information on plans for the park, visit the website here.

Daiquiri Season, the inaugural month long “festival,” comes to a close next week. To celebrate the end of the festival, which honors New Orleans’ favorite frozen drink, the organizers are throwing a happy hour bash at Barrel Proof (1201 Magazine St., 504-299-1888) on Oct. 3.

Bartenders will pour several daiquiri specials during the event and the winner of an Elmeco Daiquiri machine will be announced as will the people’s choice winner for the festival’s best frozen and unfrozen daiquiris.

For more information on the happy hour, visit the event’s Facebook page here. 

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