Music City Hot Chicken Festival to Celebrate 18 Years This July

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photo courtesy of Hot Chicken Festival

The Music City Hot Chicken Festival, presented by Piedmont Natural Gas and benefiting Nashville’s public parks, is returning to East Park for the 18th annual celebration of tastebud-titillating poultry and the people who love it. The festival takes place 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, July 4, 2024 in East Park, 700 Woodland St., Nashville and admission is free for all ages.

“Since we started the Hot Chicken Festival 18 years ago, Nashville Hot Chicken has become an international phenomenon,” said Festival founder and former Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell. “Nashville Hot Chicken can be found on menus around the world, from high-end restaurants to fast food franchises. You can even buy Nashville Hot Chicken-flavored pretzels, popcorn and potato chips. But we are the original, and we are thrilled to once again celebrate our favorite local flavor at its source — and to eat a lot of hot chicken!”

The Festival may be months away on the 4th of July, but there are plenty of ways you can get involved right now via the website, hotchickenfestival.com:

Applications are open for the Amateur Cooking Competition. Register now for the chance to cook for our blue-ribbon panel of expert chicken judges. The winner will be presented with a trophy on the Festival stage on July 4, and portions of the contest will be shown on NewsChannel5’s Talk of the Town.

The event will kick off, as always at 11 a.m. July 4 with the Hot Chicken Festival Parade, sponsored this year by Constellation Energy. The popular signature kickoff event is led by Bill Purcell, former Nashville mayor and Nashville’s unofficial hot chicken ambassador, followed by a host of vintage fire trucks (plus a few modern ones), marching bands, costumed mascots throwing parade beads and more. Want to get in on the action? Applications are open for parade participants — fill out the form on the Festival website by May 1 for consideration.

Applications are also open now via the website for festival vendors — both hot chicken purveyors and general vendors. Find more information here. 

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