Atlanta History Center’s Fall Folklife Festival Celebrates Southern Foodways with Cooking Demonstrations and Artisan Market

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Full Day of Family Fun Includes Live Music, Hands-on Activities, Food Trucks, and More!

ATLANTA, GA – Traditional crafts, Southern Foodways, and environmental sustainability are at the center of Atlanta History Center’s Fall Folklife Festival. Guests enjoy the sounds of local musicians performing bluegrass, folk, and funk music, and sample local fare for purchase from Atlanta-based food trucks. This year’s festival highlights the contributions of African American chefs and home cooks to Southern Foodways. Highlights include cooking demonstrations by Michael Twitty, culinary conversations with Erika Council, the author behind the popular blog Southern Soufflé, and an artisan market featuring local food and craft vendors.

WHAT: Fall Folklife Festival, Atlanta History Center’s annual fall family program

WHEN: Saturday, September 26, 2015; 10:30 am to 4:30 pm

WHERE: Atlanta History Center; 130 West Paces Ferry Road; Atlanta, GA

INFORMATION: 404.814.4000;

ADMISSION: This program is free to members; included in the cost of general admission for nonmembers. Purchase admission tickets at

SPONSORS: Funding for this program is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners under the guidance of Fulton County Arts Council, Publix Super Markets Charities, and Macy's.


Smith Family Farm Activities

Michael Twitty, Cooking Demonstration


Experience one-of-a-kind cooking demonstrations with African American food writer and culinary historian Michael Twitty as the chef takes visitors on an exploration of the rich history of Southern Foodways.

For Michael Twitty there was a giant hole in the story of American cooking as big as the one in the story of most African American families. Putting the microscope on himself, Twitty decided to fully trace out his family history through the story of Southern and American food. Using genetic research, historic interpretation, nature study, heirloom gardening, and interviews with contemporary voices in food, his journey led him back to his family’s origins in West and Central Africa and to a front ring seat in the debate over race and food in American life.

Erika Council, Cooking Demonstration

11:00 am and 1:00 pm

Enjoy the scent of homemade cornbread cooked on the open hearth as the author behind the popular blog Southern Soufflé bakes while discussing the origins of this Southern staple, as well as the different variations of it. Erika Council’s much loved cornbread recipe comes from her grandmother, Mildred Council of Chapel Hill's Mama Dips Kitchen. 

Council was born and raised in the South – North Carolina to be exact. She spent a few years in Louisiana and made the trek to Georgia like so many others after Katrina. Growing up, she learned to wash collards in the bath tub, saw Moonshine distilled in old radiators, and experienced the art of biscuit making at the ripe old age of four. Her blog, Southern Soufflé, has plenty of cooking with cane syrup, marinating with bourbon, and worshiping in the House of Cast Iron Skillets. 


10:45 am, 11:45 am, 1:45 pm, 2:45 pm, 3:45 pm,

Listen to traditional Southern folktales and learn about the history behind them. Become a part of the story as a storyteller brings traditional harvest-time tales of the South to life!

Smokehouse Demonstration


Watch as bacon is smoked in the 1850s smokehouse. Discuss nineteenth-century methods of preservation with museum interpreters and witness a small piece of the hard work of preparing the farm for the winter.

Blacksmithing Demonstration


The sounds of the forge greet you as museum interpreters demonstrate the historical method of blacksmithing while they make tools for harvest on the farm.

Sachet and Poultices Activity


Try your hand at curing ailments. Plants were used throughout history in homegrown remedies, herbal medicines, and natural household and personal care products. Explore the uses of these herbs as you prepare your own sachet or poultice and learn how they have been used historically.

Pottery Activity


Create your own pinch pot and discover the methods used to preserve meats and other foods in early America. Afterwards, check out the famed pottery of Dave Drake, an enslaved potter of the 1800s from Edgefield, South Carolina, in our Shaping Traditions exhibition.

Corn Husk Doll Activity


Make your own harvest-time toy and discover a part of agricultural history. Each part of the corn plant was used by Native Americans and the corn husk was often shaped into dolls. This tradition was then passed down to early European settlers and continues today.

Artisans Market


  • Adictos a la Salsa
  • Beautiful Briny Sea Artisan Sea Salts
  • Connie Reuss’s Handspun and Woven Art
  • Fairywood Thicket Farm’s Jams and Jellies
  • JavaGenesis Coffee Roasting
  • Pure Abundance Vegan Cheese
  • Rebecca Gilliard’s Handmade Sweet Grass Baskets
  • Suds and Lather Homemade Natural Soap

Little Red Barn Petting Zoo


Enjoy meeting the gentle animals from the Little Red Barn Petting Zoo, including a donkey, horse, goat, sheep, and many more adorable animals.

Musical Performances

El Quattro

10:00 am, 12:30 pm

El Quattro is a four piece lounge funk-jazz group from Atlanta. They entertain audiences by playing well loved and recognized pop hits from the 1960s to present day, and entertain themselves by putting their own unique spin on their instrumental versions of these timeless classics.

Little Country Giants

11:30 am, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm

From the sleepy town of Oakman, Georgia, come the Little Country Giants, fronted by husband and wife songwriting duo, Cameron Federal and Russell Cook. After recently successfully funding a Kickstarter campaign for a new album, the band immediately got busy in the studio, and have completed the recordings of what they feel is their best work yet. The album will be their sixth, is entitled Dead Reckoning, and is expected to be self-released in November 2015.

The Little Country Giants have been voted “Atlanta’s Best Folk Act” by Creative Loafing, and were awarded with the “Emerging Artists of the Year” by the Rome Area Council for the Arts in Rome, Georgia.

Cash Bar

Local craft beers, an artisanal Bloody Mary bar, and juice boxes for the kiddos are available for sale throughout the day.

Food for Sale 

Atlanta-based food trucks are on site and have food available for sale.