The ninth annual Music City Hot Chicken Festival at East Park was so much fun! Many hundreds braved cloudy skies to attend the event, which benefits East Nashville group Friends of Shelby Bottom.
So much, so good!: The traditional hot chicken was represented by a host of Nashville’s spicy poultry mainstays, including Hattie B’s, Prince’s, Deezie’s, Bolton’s and Chicken Shack. There was alternative hot chicken, in the form of Otaku’s Japanese hot chicken buns and grilled and smoked bird by Smokin’ Thighs. Also available were Georgia peaches, ice cream from Pied Piper Creamery, watermelon from the Community Food (sponsored by poultry king Tyson, no less). Sounds mascot Booster the Rooster was there to greet the kids. And I caught two musical performances: festival veteran Shelby Bottom String Band brought the twang and, in the beer tent, the smokin’ Half Brass made East Nashville sound like Bourbon Street.
I did not imbibe (water and grilled bird for me), but was glad to be inside the makeshift shelter when the skies opened and a powerful downpour descended upon the festivities. Being Nashville, the shower did not last too long, but it was interesting to note that the long lines at the hot-chicken stands did not dissipate. Even folks sans umbrellas kept the faith.Though soaked to the skin, eventually they nabbed their prize: crimson-colored, cayenne-rich, crispy goodness. I tip my hat to each and every one of those tenacious souls.
The following photo gallery shows a good time was had by all. (I recommend you don’t autoplay; experience it manually.)