FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. (WHNT) — The annual Slawburger Festival is known as Lincoln County’s signature spring event. It has a unique name for a unique burger native to the heart of the downtown Fayetteville square.
“Everybody thinks it’s coleslaw. It’s not. That’s a misconception that everybody has,” Fayetteville Main Street President Sunny Nix told News 19. “And once you’ve had one, it’s a taste that your mouth’s like, ‘Oh, what is that?’ And then you come back for more.”
Much of the Tennessee Valley has come back for more at Honey’s Restaurant for 99 years. People of all ages enjoy the recipe originally thought up by current owner Lee McAlister’s great-grandfather.
“When this was introduced it became a hit,” McAlister said. “It’s exploded. I’m telling you, we’ve got a great business. We’ve been very fortunate, and Lincoln County’s been good to us.”
In 2015, Fayetteville Main Street and Fayetteville-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce started a festival, centered around live music, dozens of local vendors, and even a Slawburger eating contest.
“[2 p.m. Saturday will be] our famous Slawburger eating contest, and with that this year we have 15 contestants. They have a ten minute timeframe of who can eat the most,” Nix said.
“And there’s so many things other than the Slaw-eating contest that day,” McAlister said. “There’s things for kids. There’s great vendors around the square. It’s a fun day for all.”
Organizers hope Saturday will be the biggest edition yet.
“When [the weather] starts warming up everybody wants to be out and about on the square,” Fayetteville Main Street Executive Director Aimee Byrd said. “So this is a great way. And we have a beer garden. So it’s just a great way for everybody to be outside at this time of year.”
“We want people coming in,” Nix added. “We want the merchants to stay open and sell their products. We want it to be a place where it’s home for us and we can continue what we have.”
If you’re worried about weather, the fest takes place rain or shine Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. Admission and parking are free – just bring an empty stomach.