After two-year absence, National Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, is coming back

Staff File Photo by Robin Rudd / Chefs from Richard Hardy Memorial School Athletics empty out another tray of their parmesan chive cornbread in Cornbread Alley during a previous National Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburg, Tenn.

After a two-year pandemic pause, the National Cornbread Festival will return to downtown South Pittsburg, Tennessee, this spring. The event, which draws an estimated 25,000 visitors, is set for the weekend of April 23-24.

A sizable gift from Lodge Manufacturing is helping with the comeback.

To mark its 125th anniversary in 2021, Lodge awarded the festival $125,000 in October, according to festival chairwoman Amy Rogers. Lodge, the oldest cast-iron cookware manufacturer in the country, has two foundries in South Pittsburg and has been a primary sponsor of the festival since its inception in 1997.

In a news release, Rogers, the festival's marketing chairwoman, said the donation was "received with welcoming arms by the festival committee."