Salt & Smoke Festival set for Saturday on the bluff

Published 1:52 am Wednesday, April 5, 2017

NATCHEZ — The North-Carolina based Salt & Smoke Festival will bring whole-hog barbecue, crawfish, local beer and music to the bluff this weekend as its second-annual roadshow makes a stop in Natchez.

The festival is a celebration of Southern food, beer and music and was started by North Carolina chef Chef Kevin Callaghan as a party with friends that eventually expanded into a festival in Orange County, N.C., and a traveling festival visiting cities across North America.

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Salt & Smoke partnered with Tin Roof Brewing Company, co-founded by Natchez natives William McGehee and Charles Caldwell, to host a festival at the Baton Rouge brewery last year.

Natchez resident Cole Brown attended that festival and contacted Zoë Dehmer with Salt & Smoke to bring the festival to Natchez.

“For me, the Salt & Smoke Festival was the perfect fit for Natchez,” Brown said.

Dehmer said the festival features whole-hog barbecue, widely popular in North Carolina, using locally sourced pigs and with a focus on local food, beer and music.

The Natchez festival will also feature a crawfish boil, a DIY s’mores buffet with an array of toppings, Southern-style sides, including greens, Hoppin’ John, macaroni and cheese, buttermilk cornbread and slaw.

“I think people attending for the first time will be blown away after experiencing the barbecue, local craft brews and area musicians. It’s truly a festival that Natchezians, both old and young, won’t soon forget,” Brown said.

Salt & Smoke has partnered with Natchez Brewing Company, Tin Roof Brewing Company, Bowie’s Tavern, Southwest Distributors and Natchez Monument Company for the festival.

“We’ve never been to Natchez … and it’s just been a really wonderful experience, all these local partners getting involved,” Dehmer said. “It feels really good to be heading into something we’ve never done before knowing that Natchez is welcoming us.”

The festival is set for 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday on the bluff and will include performances by Natchez-based Big Drew & The Bubbadelic and HollyRock out of New Orleans.

Ticket packages range from $25 to $45. Tickets for children ages 6-12 are $15, and children 5 and under get in free of charge.

For $25, The Show package includes access to the music, two drinks (beer available), a Salt & Smoke pint glass and decal to keep.

For $35, The Fiesta package includes The Show package plus food — boiled peanuts, barbecue, sides and s’mores buffet.

For $45, The Whole Shebang package includes The Fiesta package plus crawfish.

Tickets are available on and more information can be found on the event’s Facebook page.