If you have been around for the shortest length of time, you know that I LOVE festivals. Especially if they have a particularly good theme, and even more so if the theme is food.
Enter: the RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival I went to this past Saturday!!
This festival celebrates the original Southern fast food – an ice cold RC Cola and a fresh Moon Pie. (A pastry which consists of two round graham cracker cookies, with marshmallow filling in the center, dipped in a flavored coating – credit Wikipedia). Hosted in historic Bell Buckle (yes that’s BELL not BELT) Tennessee, this June event is now in it’s 19th year.
Precisely how and when people began the custom of eating Moon Pies with RC Cola is unknown, although it is likely that their inexpensive prices, combined with their larger serving sizes, contributed to establishing this combination as the "working man's lunch". The popularity of this combination was celebrated in a popular song of the 1950s, by Big Bill Lister, "Gimmee an RC Cola and a Moon Pie.". In 1973, NRBQ had a minor hit with the song, "An RC Cola and a Moon Pie." (credit Wikipedia)
Several events comprise the festival, which kick off in a 10 mile run at 7am – naturally I was not there for that. There is also a parade, and even a crowning of the ‘King’ and ‘Queen’. Games, arts & crafts, musicians, performers, and contests occur throughout the day. It all reaches the grand finale of a communal sharing of the World’s Largest Moon Pie! Let’s get the show started with my experience:
Welcome to Bell Buckle Tennessee, population 500, middle of nowhere, approx an hour south of Nashville.
Not too many options for hotels in Bell Buckle (although several B&B’s I’m sure), so we ended up staying in downtown Nashville. A cool mural greets in the lobby of the HGI – West End.
This is a likely view you might see on your way there.
If I ran the show I would not allow vendors to set up in front of this cool mural!
One of the quaint houses you’ll see as you pull into town.
A short row of antique/craft/general store/café line the main street that face the railroad tracks.
If you like antiques you will love this place. So much to choose from.
Something for everyone – key collections, kitchenware, and so much more.
If you want your hubby to get interested in antiquing, maybe find a massive vintage tool selection to start him out.
Store fronts display the treasures promised inside, sharing the stage with traditional Americana decorations.
An antiques vendor freely shared the gossip of the General Store – “I heard they’ve got over 10,000 Moon Pies!”
Old and new side by side
Individually wrapped pies – Chocolate, lemon, strawberry, vanilla, mint, peanut butter – the sky’s the limit!
After escaping the mob in the General Store, we can see that the crowd remains despite the heat this Saturday!
Some of the sinfully delicious homemade canned goodies featured. Other booths had jams, kettle corn, and sugared almonds. There were some other craft booths as well. My only disappointment was that several booths featured plastic sunglasses, cell phone cases, and other miscellaneous made-in-China crap. As a crafter myself, I have witnessed firsthand that it can be hard for a buyer to distinguish value in the handmade product when it resides next to the mass produced items. Plus that is one main reason I come to small towns like Bell Buckle – to get away from the “Walmart-ization” of the world!
Clearly this lady is a rebel - A Coca-Cola at an RC Cola festival!?
And now the final frenzy – the cutting of the world’s largest Moon Pie! I did miss some of the earlier events, so click here to check out the 10 mile race/parade/etc.
A glimpse of the pie – I thought it’d be bigger, but hey if that’s the world’s largest – and free, I won’t complain!
Thar she blows! Look at that glorious hunk o’ Moon Pie.
Generally I’m not a fan of ‘participation’ ribbons – but hey it’s my claim to fame as a sampler of the World’s Largest Moon Pie!!
I hope you enjoyed my RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival photos, let me know if you have ever gone to this festival! If you haven’t, what’s the best or most unique festival you’ve ever been to?? I’m dying to put them on my list – thanks in advance for sharing!