New Orleans ‘fried chicken festival’ cancelled

Published 9:13 am Thursday, August 19, 2021

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Organizers of the National Fried Chicken Festival Presented by Raising Cane’s have announced the cancellation of the 2021 festival, scheduled for Oct. 23-24 on the New Orleans Lakefront.

“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our team has maintained that the health and safety of our guests, restaurateurs, crew and community would always be our priority,” said Cleveland Spears III, FCF organizer and president/CEO of the Spears Group. “ This decision was particularly difficult, as the independently owned restaurants that participate in our festival have had an extraordinarily difficult year. We remain committed to finding other ways to support those restaurants over the coming weeks and months. We look forward to returning with an extraordinary experience in the fall of 2022. But in the meantime, we ask the community to comply with all COVID-19 health and safety guidelines so we can come together again to celebrate America’s favorite dish.”

With many festivals here in New Orleans and across the state set to return this fall, FCF organizers were initially optimistic about being able to host this year’s event safely. For months, they monitored the evolving health conditions and the actions of other larger festivals closely, as they have earned the public’s confidence over the decades. However, as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to surge across the region and events such as Jazz Fest and French Quarter Fest announced their own cancellations, organizers and sponsors made the difficult decision to forgo this year’s celebration.

“We remain focused on doing what’s best for our Crew, our customers and our communities as well as with the events we support such as National Fried Chicken Festival,” said Todd Graves, Raising Cane’s founder and CEO. “While we are disappointed that the festival can’t go on as planned, we look forward to bringing everyone back together to celebrate in 2022.”

The National Fried Chicken Festival is hopeful that the event will be able to safely return sometime next year and encourages festival-goers to continue to follow along on its official Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages for future updates and announcements.

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