National Fried Chicken Festival kicks off week-long bonanza across New Orleans

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Fried chicken lovers are in for a finger-lickin’ good time as the National Fried Chicken Festival fires up the deep fryers for seven days of food and fun at participating venues across New Orleans.

Despite the fifth annual Fried Chicken Festival being canceled in August due the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the catastrophic destruction caused by Hurricane Ida.

(Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The originally scheduled two-day event has given way to an inaugural week-long festival presented by Raising Canes with many of the FCF’s supporting restaurants and non-food vendors signing on to participate.

“While we were unable to put on our festival as planned, we wanted to look at other ways to assist our local businesses and culture bearers who are struggling and in need of assistance,” said Cleveland Spears III, FCF organizer and President/CEO of the Spears Group. 

“Our city and our region are reeling from multiple disasters, and hopefully, through National Fried Chicken Festival Week, we can bring some relief and respite to those who have already been through so much.”

The festival, which runs through Sunday, Oct. 24, kicks off with a dozen of the city’s favorite eateries on Monday, as well as a few pop-ups and food trucks serving up at various hotspots later in the week.

Locations include:

  • Gus’s Fried Chicken — 308 S. Diamond Street; 11 a.m. – 9 p.m,
  • Heard Dat Kitchen — 2520 Felicity Street, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m,
  • Ma Momma’s — Pythian Market, 234 Loyola Ave; 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Tasty Treat — 1900 N. Claiborne; 11 a.m. – 9 p.m,
  • The Orginal Fiorella’s — 5325 Franklin Ave; 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • We Dat’s — 1407 Canal St.; 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Tiger’s — 1612 Basin, Oct. 18-21
  • Soule’ Cafe — 2549 Banks St; 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Sno-La — 8108 Hampson St; 1-9 p.m.
  • NOLA Crawfish King — 5321 Franklin Ave; 11 a.m. – 7 p.m,
  • Old School Eats — TBD
  • Southern’s — TBD
  • Cocina Rico — Oct. 20 at Lafreniere Park Farmers Market. 2-7 p.m.; Oct. 22 at Tin Roof Brewing, 5-9 p.m.
  • Asian Outdoor Kitchen — Oct. 21 at Urban South; Oct. 22 at Sugar Fields Spirits; Oct. 23 at Wrong Iron
  • Fresh Fruit Sensation — Rouses at 4500 Tchoupitoulas St; Oct. 22-23, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Mae’s Bakeshop — Old Road Coffee, 2024 Bayou Road; Oct. 23. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Keyla’s Pralines — Rouses at 4500 Tchoupitoulas St; Oct. 23, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Gumbo Gouroux — 2405 Pointmere, Harvey; Oct. 17-23, 12-6 p.m.

Partnering restaurants will feature off-menu items that would have been served at this year’s in-person festival. A complete list of participating restaurants, vendors, offerings and ways to help support local businesses, musicians and more will be available at the event’s official website.

“Our city’s cultural institutions require our support, and having an event like the National Fried Chicken Festival Week can be a big contributor to our overall cultural economy,” said Lisa D. Alexis, President and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism and Cultural Fund. 

“As we continue to navigate the challenges from storms and the pandemic, we remain committed to ensuring that our most important cultural assets are protected and given the platform to display our city’s longstanding history and heritage.”

According to the event’s website, the in-person Fried Chicken Festival is set to return in 2022.

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