Yearly fest mixes chili, bluegrass

Combining a tradition of old-fashioned, Southern bluegrass and tasty, steaming chili means you can nosh while you two-step—and, if you’re feeling especially down-home, you can rightfully pair a flannel with overalls inside the city limits.

On Saturday, Nov. 6, more than 20 food vendors, 15 restaurants and 50 musical artists will flock to the community of Cabbagetown for its annual Chomp and Stomp festival.

Chomp and Stomp started in 1999 when Cabbagetown residents petitioned the city to turn a defunct school into a park. Needing a way to maintain the park, they held a festival to raise the funds. Chomp and Stomp remains a fundraiser for the park, with the focus now centered on a chili cook-off.

Admission to the shindig is free, but to sample the fare from various restaurants and vendors, you have to purchase an official spoon for $5. It’s a tasting though, not an all-you-can eat shindig—don’t expect to dig in like you’re at a buffet.

Katherine Marbury is one of festival organizers, and has served as chair for the two previous years.

“The festival gets bigger and better each year, and this year they have enlisted many green initiatives,” Marbury said. “This year, for the first time ever, Chomp and Stomp is able to use compostable chili cups instead of Styrofoam.”

More eco-friendliness comes courtesy of sponsorship from the Fur Bus, which will run a shuttle between the festival and King Memorial MARTA station from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Additionally, the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition will be onsite with a bike valet service, so people who opt for manual transportation can safely store bikes without worrying about theft or damage.