ATHENS, Ala. – Organizers of the first annual Athens Grease Festival are seeking those who enjoy finding ways to make new fried delights and create Southern crafts.
The festival will be Sept. 29 in downtown Athens from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. It is a celebration of the Greek origin of the city’s name, and Southerners’ love of fried fare. The downtown area will be a market place showcasing food to try and crafts to buy amid musical entertainment and Olympic-themed activities. Applications from food vendors and craft vendors are being accepted through an Aug. 15 postmark date.
“We’ve heard about fried Kool-Aid and fried macaroni and cheese,” said Spirit of Athens Director and event organizer Trisha Black. “We know area marching bands and sport associations sell fried Snickers and fried Oreos at their concession stands. This is your chance to show what you do and make some money for your business or non-profit.”
The fee for food vendors is $200 for a 10 x 10 space and additional space will be available for $50. Food vendors are encouraged to offer at least one fried item on their menu. Vendors can compete in competitions for best fried vegetable, best fried meat, best fried dessert and most outrageous.
LouAna Oils of Birmingham is donating up to three gallons of oil per food vendor. Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful is working with festival organizers on recycling the used cooking oil.
“As we have said from the beginning, we need to eat healthy, but it is OK to splurge now and then,” said festival chairwoman Christy Hubbard. “Cooking is like an art form in the South. We remember watching our grandmothers and mothers spending time in the kitchen, adding a dab of this and a dash of that as they cooked from memory to make wonderful dishes. This is a way to keep that art form going.”
In addition to food vendors, festival organizers are accepting applications from craft vendors. The booth fee is $75 with additional space $50.
“We have a wealth of talented artists in our area who can paint, make pottery, craft jewelry and sew,” Black said. “We not only want to showcase the area’s food talent but also our arts and crafts talent.”
For more information on booth rental or the event, go online at Athensgreasefestival.com. Vendor applications are available on the website. Vendors can also call 256-232-9040 for more information.