On Sunday, October 6 from noon to 4 p.m. at Railroad Park, 12 teams of culinary competitors will vie to see whose catfish, sides, and dessert can win the 10th annual Cahaba River Fry-Down.
This annual catfish cook off festival celebrates Alabama’s Cahaba River and is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Cahaba River Society, a nonprofit organization founded in 1988 to protect and restore the Cahaba River watershed and its rich diversity of life. Festival-goers can indulge in all-you-can-eat catfish, sides, and desserts while enjoying a festive, family-friendly, educational, carnival-like atmosphere.
“Cahaba River Fry-Down has emerged as one of the unique, delicious events in Birmingham’s rich foodie culture,” stated renowned caterer Kathy G, one of the celebrity judges at this year’s festival.
The panel of 10 judges—which includes restauranteur George Sarris, television host Bakari Savage, and radio personality and food critic Comedienne Joy—will select winners in categories such as “Best Dressed” (Best Presentation), “Fish with an Attitude” (Most Creative), and “Baddest Fish in the River (Best Overall). Hungry festival-goers will also be able to vote for the prestigious “Crowd Favorite” award.
Cahaba River Fry-Down includes a full day of adventures for adults and kids of all ages. New this year is the “Cahaba River Adventure Experience,” an interactive stroll through a series of hands-on exhibits and activities that evoke the feeling of traveling down the river, encountering its finned, furry, scaly and feathered wildlife, and discovering places to enjoy the river and opportunities to protect it.
Visitors will enjoy a festive atmosphere perfect for all ages with delicious food, a climbing wall, a bar with signature cocktails and craft beers, live music, arts and crafts such as Gyotaku fish prints, a Kids Zone with face-painters, a large bouncy house, educational games, balloon artists, and more. Door prizes include family tickets to the Birmingham Zoo and McWane Center, a canoe trip for four, and $100 Visa gift cards.
“The Cahaba River is a primary drinking water source for the Greater Birmingham area,” said Cahaba River Society Executive Director Beth Stewart. “That’s why we host Cahaba River Fry-Down in Railroad Park, and have added the ‘Cahaba River Adventure Experience’ to help bring the river to the heart of downtown. The Cahaba belongs to all of us, and everyone is welcome at Fry-Down and on the River.”
Tickets are $20, and children under 12 are free. Admission includes all-you-can-eat catfish, sides, and desserts as well as all activities. Tickets can be purchased at www.frydown.com.
Founded in 1988, the Cahaba River Society’s mission is to restore and protect the Cahaba River Watershed and its rich diversity of life, including its globally-significant freshwater biodiversity and the diverse people of the Birmingham metro area and central Alabama relying on the River for drinking water, recreation and many other needs.