South Pittsburg has growth recipe

photo Guests stroll the streets of South Pittsburg during the National Cornbread Festival.

Needing a big idea to help breathe new life into a small town, South Pittsburg came up with a recipe for growth 15 years ago.

The result was the National Cornbread Festival, a two-day event on the last weekend of April that brings in more than 50,000 visitors annually and has pumped new life into the town. A Friday night street dance opens the festival each year, and the event includes a carnival, arts and crafts, music on nearly every street corner and food vendors with every type of cornbread imaginable.

While the Cornbread Festival now is the biggest tourist draw for the town, there are many other quaint reasons to take the short drive 30 miles west of Chattanooga.