Soul Food Fusion Festival to bring community together

Published 10:47 am Thursday, June 3, 2021

NATCHEZ — It’s time for a community celebration, Jarita Frazier King said, and she has just the thing.

The Soul Food Fusion Festival is Friday through Sunday, June 18-20, in Natchez.

“This is the second festival. It should have been the third one, but COVID put a damper on it,” King said.

The theme of the first event, held in 2019, was “Community Dining Table, Just Like Family.”

More than a hundred people came together downtown and sat together for a meal at the same table set up on the closed-off Commerce Street.

This Saturday’s festival will also have a community table, King said, adding the event this year comes as a relief after communal events being canceled in COVID-19.

“We’ve all already given up so much because of COVID, we want to do something really festive this year. We want to really have a celebration. I think it’s time for us to get back out and have a good time,” King said.

The event kicks off Friday night on the property of Crooked Letter Picture Company, 101 High St.

“We will have barbecue, local brews and down-home, live Blues,” she said. The party begins at 7 p.m. and will wrap up at 9 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person.

The main event of the Soul Food Fusion Festival begins at 6 p.m. and will be located in the 500 block of Commerce Street and will feature live music, contests and famous Natchez soul food cuisine.

“We have chefs from four restaurants who are participating,” King said. They include:

  • Yolanda Morgan of Morgan’s Catering.
  • Paul Lewis, formerly of Taste of Chicago and now kitchen manager at Rolling River Reloaded.
  • Bubba McCabe, owner of Pig Out Inn.
  • and Roderick King, chef and owner of Blues Bowl Lounge.

“We will have good food and good music, which transcend racial lines and will bring us all together at one big dinner table on Saturday,” King said.

Tickets for Saturday’s event are $30.

Sunday’s wind-down event will be a Lazy Magnolia Brunch held at Concord Quarters, 301 Gayosa, Natchez, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The brunch will feature food prepared by King and bottomless mimosas.

Tickets and more information are available online at BonTempsTix.com or at facebook.com/soulfoodfusionfestntz. Tickets may also be purchased at the door for each of the events.

The non-profit organization Southern Wellness Association of Mississippi is organizing the festival. All profits will go to support the work that group is doing in the Natchez community, such as serving meals to seniors who need them and helping with job training and placement for those who have been released from the reform system.