Tyson Foods, Inc. Donates 16,800 Lbs. Of Chicken To Liberty’s Kitchen For This Weekend’s National Fried Chicken Festival
NEW ORLEANS – Tyson Foods, Inc. announced it will be donating 16,800 lbs. of product to Liberty's Kitchen for the National Fried Chicken Festival (FCF). The donation will consist of seven pallets of drumsticks (7,840 lbs.) and seven pallets of chicken tenders (8,960 lbs.).
The FCF presented by Raising Cane’s takes place Saturday, Sept. 23, from 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 24, from 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., at Woldenberg Riverfront Park.
Organizers are planning to host more than 100,000 festivalgoers over the free, two-day, outdoor weekend festival.
Liberty's Kitchen creates pathways for New Orleans youth to create and achieve their vision of success through workforce training, leadership development and support of healthy lifestyles, reps said. Since its founding in 2009, Liberty's Kitchen has trained more than 600 disconnected youth in life skills and food service-based workforce development. It operates comprehensive school meal services at six partner schools, and serves 1,500 youth 4,000 meals daily. Its School Nutrition Program also serves as a training site for young adults in their workforce training program as well as nutrition and sustainability education with partner schools.
Since its inception last year, FCF has donated a portion of its proceeds to support local charities. At last year's festival, Liberty's Kitchen and Cafe Reconcile were each awarded $5,000 to continue to provide culinary opportunities to youth in New Orleans.
Organizers said the FCF presented by Raising Cane’s brings food, music, family and festivities together in celebration of the classic Southern dish, featuring the Fried Chicken Tenders Eating Contest and the Best Fried Chicken Contest, judged by local and national food writers, bloggers and critics, two music stages, the Moet Chicken and Champagne VIP Experience, the AT&T and Best Buy Football Lounge, the Sucre Sweet Spot, the Louisiana Federation for Children Kids’ Coop Pavilion, GoNOLA Misting Lounge and a celebrity cooking demo stage anchored by celebrity Chef Jeff Henderson. The ONE LOVE wall will make a return for festivalgoers to share messages of love and encouragement as well as what they love about fried chicken.
The entertainment lineup includes Big Freedia, Naughty Professor, Big Sam's Funky Nation, Sean Ardoin & the Zydekool, The Spirit of New Orleans Gospel Choir, Kristen Diable & The City, Motel Radio and many more.
“With the addition of a second music stage, it allowed us the ability to create more opportunities for New Orleans musicians, while providing a greater diversity in entertainment for our guests,” Cleveland Spears, III, FCF organizer and president and CEO of the Spears Group, said. “We are confident we have curated an entertainment line-up that will appeal to everyone from Millennials to baby boomers and locals as well as our visiting tourists.”
More than 35 food vendors from across the U.S. will debut their festival dishes including Dat Dog’s fried chicken tender on a sourdough bun topped with jalapenos, Nana’s coleslaw and chick sauce, Roux Bistro’s fried chicken gumbo and Willie’s Chicken Shack’s dark meat with mac and cheese and a honey glazed biscuit.
“The capacity to meet crowd demands and menu creativity were the major determining factors when we were selecting vendors of the hundreds of restaurants that applied,” Spears said. “It was important for us to provide guests with an exciting culinary experience and not simply restaurants providing fried chicken and french fries. Guests can expect unique utilizations of fried chicken in some really exciting dishes.”
Attendees are also invited to visit the “Pay It Forward” tent and make a cash or credit card donation to a variety of organizations leading hurricane recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast. As a festival safety precaution, FCF organizers asked that no one bring supplies or goods to donate.
“What happened to our neighbors in Texas and Florida is all too reminiscent of the similar devastation that many of us here in New Orleans experienced 12 years ago to the date,” Spears said. “My team and I created this festival as a vehicle to give back and that need has never been greater. This ‘Pay It Forward’ tent represents our continued effort to support our neighbors along the Gulf Coast as they continue to rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.”
In the spirit of giving back and recognizing FCF’s status as a food and music festival, Spears also announced that a portion of the festival’s beverage proceeds would be donated to the Tipitina’s Foundation to support and preserve music education for the region’s youth. Tipitina’s provides an immeasurable service to New Orleans and the entire state of Louisiana through its various programs and support services, festival reps said.
And, in collaboration with the Get Up N Ride initiative, FCF is giving attendees an opportunity to register to participate and meet up with other riders and tour parts of the city including Downtown, and French Quarter area, before finishing at the festival at Woldenberg Park. A bicycle valet will be on-site to store bikes so that riders can go and enjoy the many festivities. Registration will include an official festival T-shirt, bike rental, bike valet (if needed), and a one-hour tour of New Orleans led by a tour guide/ DJ.
The FCF’s special events include:
Saturday, Sept. 23
11:00 a.m. – 11:10 a.m. – Casa Samba Procession through Woldenberg Park to Main Stage
2:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. – Raising Cane's Chicken Finger eating contest, Saints mascots and Saintsations
Sunday, Sept. 24
10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Casa Samba "Kids on Stilts" and Tipitina’s Youth Band kickoff parade at Canal Street entrance
4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Willie Mae's owner Kerry Seaton Stewart will receive the Culinary Icon Award