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  • Austin Warren

Berea's Spoonbread Festival kicks off on the weekend of the 15th

Of all the fall festivities that happen in the city of Berea, its Spoonbread Festival is among one of its most well-known. Taking place on the third weekend of September every year since 1997, the Spoonbread Festival is a time for every Berean to enjoy live performances, activities, and, of course, spoonbread.

Image courtesy of the Berea Chamber of Commerce

Having taken place at Memorial Park on Jefferson Street this year, the Spoonbread Festival is the signature event of the Berea Chamber of Commerce. This year, vendors had the opportunity to sign up to sell various goods and services to festival-goers, which ranged from face paint and jewelry to food items like funnel cake and the namesake dish of the festival itself—spoonbread.

Spoonbread, which is usually served in a bowl, is similar to cornbread in taste, but it is much more moist and soft than cornbread. With the first recipe for spoonbread being found in a cookbook titled "The Carolina Housewife,” written by Sarah Rutledge in 1847, it has since been a staple dish in both Kentucky and Virginia.

The Berea Chamber of Commerce has provided a spoonbread recipe on their website. For your ingredients, you will need: three cups of milk, three large eggs, one cup of plain yellow cornmeal, one-and-a-half tablespoons of baking powder, four tablespoons of butter (divided), and one tablespoon of salt.

Image courtesy of the Berea Chamber of Commerce

Despite the festival’s name, though, it is less of a food festival and more of a community festival. Various community organizations, local businesses, and even law enforcement set up their booths to represent themselves to the greater community and, if applicable to the organization in question, supply their goods and services.

The festival is also a good opportunity for businesses to advertise to the festival-goers. On the Berea Chamber of Commerce website, 12 organizations are recognized as sponsors, with organizations such as Berea KY Tourism and CHI Saint Joseph Health being recognized among the highest sponsor tiers. At the festival itself, sponsors were recognized with a massive banner than spanned tens of feet along the south side of Jefferson Street.

The 2024 Spoonbread Festival is set to take place on the weekend of September 20th-22nd. Keep an eye on the Berea Chamber of Commerce’s website for more news about the next Spoonbread Festival closer to September 2024.

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