The State of Tennessee is a treasure house of interesting festivals and we have chosen The National Cornbread Festival for 2009. This weekend of fun, food and festive entertainment takes place over the weekend of 24th to 26th April 2009.

This year the National Cornbread Festival will celebrate its 13th anniversary.  The event is held in the town of South Pittsburg,  which lies between the Cumberland Plateau and the Tennessee River, in the beautiful Sequatchie Valley.

Concerned at the decline of the town with a small population of around 3,500, local citizens decided to stem the decline  by starting an Annual Festival to promote the sights, sounds, history and people of South Pittsburg. In 2007,  40,000 people arrived to taste the cornbread, hear the music and enjoy the town’s history.

The Festival opens on Friday evening,  April 24th with Opening Ceremonies followed by dancing in the street and a traditional fireworks display.

For the really energetic ones, enter the 5k Festival Run on the Saturday morning. (You’ll have to be out of bed by 7am!) If you are honest and not too energetic, settle for the 1 mile Fun Run.

Saturday also sees the opening of the Quilt Exhibition, hosted by the South Pittsburg Stichin’ Sisters Quilt Guild. Called Alzheimer’s Forgetting Piece by Piece, it is an exhibit of the work of 54 quilt artists from 30 US States with poignant interpretations of the Alzheimer experience. The exhibit is currently touring the USA and already 190,000 people have seen this work.

All day on Saturday, 25th April you can enjoy music, including Blue Grass and Old Time styles. The Historic Tour visits homes and sites in South Pittsburg, ending at the Lodge Manufacturing Company’s Foundry. A state of the art facility only open to visitors during festival time.  The same day sees a Classic Car Cruise-In,  followed by street dancing.

On Sunday, 26th, before a long day, The Pancake Breakfast is a must. Fresh sausage, hot drinks and a pile of hotcakes soaked in butter and syrup. Of course the pancakes do contain cornmeal!

The Celebrity Cook-Off starts at 3pm on Sunday. Ten finalists compete, creating their cornbread specialities in the Big Cook-Off  Tent. The 2007 winner was a Southwest inspired Chicken Taco Cornbread. South Pittsburg High School’s Marching Band and cheerleaders support the event.

These are just a sample of the daily festival events. All weekend you can stroll down Cornbread Alley and sample Pineapple and Cream Cheese Cornbread, Squash Cornbread, Mandarin Orange Cornbread and Apple Poppers. Enter the Cornbread Eating, Buttermilk Chuggin’ and Ice Cream Eating  Contests held on the Citizen’s Park Stage. Browse in the Arts and Crafts Exhibits while the kids enjoy themselves at the Cornbread Kid’s Corner with free rides, carnival games, the Rubber Duck Pond and watch Dizzy The Clown and friends.

Join the expected 40,000 in South Pittsburg for real fun weekend at the National Cornbread Festival in Tennessee in April.