The coveted Flambeaux Award recognizes outstanding work in the field of public relations performed by public relations practitioners in the Greater New Orleans area. Spears Group won the Flambeaux Award for producing the inaugural Fried Chicken Festival this past September.
The inaugural Fried Chicken Festival presented by Raising Cane’s (FCF) brought more than 40,000 attendees to Lafayette Square on Sunday, September 25, 2016, doubling the expected 20,000 crowd. The 2015 Zulu Witch Doctor and Zulu Tramps opened the festival in true New Orleans style with a second line led by the Pinstripe Brass Band. The free outdoor festival brought tourists and locals together to enjoy great food, music, family and festivities in celebration of the classic Southern dish.
More than 26 local favorites were showcased at the FCF. Featured restaurants included Willie Mae’s, Lil’ Dizzy’s Cafe, Fiorella’s Cafe, Bayou Hot Wings, Diva Dawg, McHardy's Fried Chicken, Milkfish, The Company Burger, Crepes a la Cart and more. Sweet Crude, John Boutte, Tank and the Bangas, the Brass-A-Holics and DJ Mannie Fresh graced the stage and brought the massive crowd to their feet.
In addition, the festival included events such as the Raising Cane’s Chicken Tender Eating Contest and the Best Fried Chicken and Best Use of Chicken in a Dish contests. John Kennedy, Fiorella’s Cafe and Jazz City Cafe took home the top contest prizes respectively.
The event also featured a 10-foot ONE LOVE wall where festival attendees filled the wall with messages of love and encouragement as well as what they love about fried chicken and the festival.
Legendary Chef Leah Chase was presented with the 2016 Culinary Icon Award by Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Raising Cane’s President and CEO Todd Graves for her contributions to culinary arts in New Orleans and throughout the U.S. Also, Liberty’s Kitchen and Cafe Reconcile were each awarded $5,000 to continue providing culinary opportunities to youth in New Orleans. The Saintsations and New Orleans Saints Mascot Gumbo also made a special appearance at the festival.
The Fried Chicken Festival presented by Raising Cane’s is sponsored by First NBC Bank, New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, AT&T and Walker Motor Corporation.
The 2017 festival will take place at a larger venue and will expand to two days. For more information, please visit friedchickenfestival.com.