Thank you Nashville!  The Music City Hot Chicken Festival has been voted the #1 Best Local Food Event for 2013.

Thank you Hot Chicken Nation!

Thank you Hot Chicken Nation!

Again, thanks to all of the more than 4,500 attendees and our sponsors for an outstanding Hot Chicken Festival. Despite the cooling rain, you came and satisfied your cravings with like-minded hot chicken lovers, raised a glass to our country in the Yazoo beer tent, and rooted on your team in the amateur contest. 
Today, the Festival committee is relaxing and thinking about next year. We are tired, but hot chicken fans’ enthusiasm and dedication to the Festival drives us onward to continue our work, and to donate our time and energy.

If you didn’t know, the Festival is put on ENTIRELY by volunteers.  Lots of volunteer time and hand wringing goes into the Festival by fellow Hot Chicken and Shelby Park lovers.  It is because of all of these volunteer hours and our dedicated Festival goers that the Festival raises money each year for the Friends of Shelby Park. 

Thank you so much for all you do, EVERYONE, to play a part in this great day.

Special thanks goes to our sponsors. Lead sponsor: Piedmont Natural Gas and others including Ryman Hospitality Properties Foundation, Vanderbilt University and Medical Center, The City Paper/Nashville Scene, Yazoo Brewing Company, Nashville Electric Service, Village Real Estate, Anderson Benson Insurance, Free At Last Bail Bonding, AT&T, Metro Nashville Airport Authority, H.G. Hill Realty, Melissa and Patrick Bahan, Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, Premier Parking Management, Bell & Associates Construction, Tyson, East Nashville Self Storage, Sunbelt Rentals, Spectrum Sound, D&D Events, 5 Points Digital Imaging, Weiss Liquors, and Metro Parks and Recreation.

See you next year,
The Hot Chicken Festival Committee

For the first time in Festival history, we had a tie for first place in the Amateur Cooking Competition.  The Atomic Yardbirds & Crazy Mike's Hot Chicken and were awarded the championship by our judges panel of Lelan Statom, Meryll Rose, Mayor Karl Dean, Stephen Francescon, JR Lind, and Festival founder, Bill Purcell.


Six competitors turn up the heat for chance to strut their stuff at the 2013 Festival.

2012 Champs
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Six lucky hopefuls will be bringing the heat at this year’s Hot Chicken Festival sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas in the Festival’s Amateur Cooking Contest.

The contest allows participants the opportunity to concoct a spicy dish to be judged by an esteemed celebrity panel of chicken connoisseurs. Cooking begins at 12:30, and contestants have exactly one hour to prepare their recipe for judges to sample.

This year’s competitors include:

#1   Great Birds of FireInspired by both Jerry Lee Lewis and Nashville’s signature dish, team captain Bud Friley proclaimed in his application: “…as long as ‘The Killer’ keeps on rockin', I'm gonna keep on fryin' up Hot Chicken till I hit number one.”

#2 Abombs Chicken V2: Team captain Aaron Burton writes to the selection committee: “After suffering a devastating defeat in 2011, Abombs Chicken V2 comes back with a whole new recipe that will light the judges on fire. Redemption is in the air and its name is Abombs Chicken V2.”

#3 Team Savannah: Ian Lester of Team Savannah writes “Dear great leaders that oversee Hot Chicken Nation…… We are new to Nashville, but come from the Deep South (Savannah, GA) where fried chicken is a science.  That being said, we have really enjoyed the Nashville Hot Chicken tradition and look forward to taking part in the city’s own July 4 celebration of liberty, independence and HOT CHICKEN!”

#4: Hicks FactorStephanie Hicks writes: “We have been practicing on perfecting our chicken and we KNOW our chicken will be bursting with flavor and set your mouth on fire!…..Our friends and family that have tried our chicken usually breakout in a sweat due to the hotness of our chicken, but they continue to eat it because the chicken is so good!”

#5  Atomic Yardbirds: Brian Jackson, team captain, writes “We are a fraternity of men bound by the love of the bird, the heat, and the sharing of the Hot Chicken. We cook Hot Chicken for friends, each other, and ourselves. From sharing recipe tips to comparing the best sides from our favorite Hot Chicken establishments to growing our own chili peppers, we really enjoy every aspect of the Hot Chicken.

#6  Crazy Mike's Hot Chicken: Team Captain Michael True writes “I truly believe that it is meant for me to be in the hot chicken business and with this amateur win, it will show Nashville that Crazy Mike's Hot Chicken is worthy of joining the ranks of top hot chicken shacks in the area!.....Thanks and I’m looking forward to holding that trophy.”

The winner, announced at the main stage at 2 p.m., will receive the coveted and suitably tacky Hot Chicken Festival Amateur Cooking Champion trophy, a brand new deep fryer, and some well-deserved bragging rights.

Also, don’t miss the new Hot Chicken Festival Fire Truck Parade which will process down Woodland Street beginning at 11 a.m. at 8th and Woodland and end at the East Park Community Center.  Strutting their stuff will be hot chicken commemorates such as numerous antique fire trucks, The Half Brass Band, Yazoo Brew and a vintage hearse.

"Music is the soul of Nashville and hot chicken feeds the soul of Music City."

-Buckshot Malone July 1977

2013 Festival News!
Piedmont Natural Gas will serve as the the title sponsor of the Hot Chicken Festival again this year.  As Nashville's oldest continuously operating business, Piedmont Natural Gas has deep roots in Middle Tennessee.  Piedmont and its employees are actively engaged with Metro Nashville Public Schools both as a PENCIL Partner and through other initiatives.  Since 2004, the Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation has invested more than $4 million in nonprofits located in the commuities Piedmont serves. We are proud to once again have Piedmont Natural Gas as a partner. 
Get ready Hot Chicken Nation. 

What's hotter than the 4th of July?

The annual Music City Hot Chicken Festival celebrating an original Nashville culinary tradition - hot chicken! This free event features the unique southern flare of local restaurants, amateur cooking competition, inflatable jumpys for the kids, the Yazoo Brewery beer garden, and of course, legendary Nashville music. The first 500 people will be treated to free hot chicken samples from Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, 400 Degrees, Hattie B's Hot Chicken, Pepperfire Hot Chicken, Smack Your Mama Chicken,and Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish. After the free bird is gone, you can head over to the food garden and purchase some tasty hot chicken. So plan to join us on Thursday, July 4 from 11am until 3pm for an afternoon of hot chicken, hot music, and cool suds.
Honorary Festival Chairs
● Bill Purcell, Festival Founder & former Mayor of Nashville
● Diane Neighbors, Vice Mayor of Nashville
● Andre Prince, Proprietor of Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack

Festival proceeds benefit the Friends of Shelby Park & Bottoms