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Music City Hot Chicken Festival heats up Fourth of July

Nashville hot chicken at hot chicken festival, with comeback sauce
Posted at 3:23 PM, Jul 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-05 06:15:00-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Nashville Independence Day is about freedom, fun and hot chicken.

Because Nashville can't have a true Fourth of July without the Music City Hot Chicken Festival.

The annual Music City Hot Chicken Festival brings together the local community and visitors to celebrate the Nashville dish, Hot Chicken.

The free event is held in East Park on July Fourth each year.

"I get to explore, like, all the other hot chicken. Like I said, the one I like, you can’t even find it on a normal day," said Jessica Bowman.

She brought her family with her to take part in the festivities.

"I love it; I bring my kids, I got my wife — this is her first time out here. I drug her out the house. We didn’t get to come last year, and the year before that was COVID, so I wanted to be here. I’m glad I came," Bowman said.

It all kicks off at 10:30 a.m. with the Fire Truck Parade. Visitors can enjoy Hot Chicken from Nashville's best Hot Chicken establishments, cold beer from Yazoo, and other delicious edibles from local vendors.

"We came out when it first began, so we’ve been coming out like every other year. So, it’s been like 15 years, and seeing it grow like it has — it’s really grown," Jackie Berry said.

Berry said she has experienced this tradition for so many years that she remembers when the chicken was free to the first 500 people.

All proceeds from the festival benefit the Friends of Shelby Park and Bottoms.