It’s the annual celebration of the spirit of Athens and all things fried. It’s also music, art, togas, and contests like the Frozen Turkey Toss.
This year’s Athens Grease Festival is Saturday, September 30th from 11am-7pm in downtown Athens. The festival supports the revitalization of Downtown Athens.
It’s been dubbed “One of the Oddest Festivals in Alabama” as well as one of the Top Twenty Events in the Southeast.
“Organizers started the festival in 2012 to provide our community with a family-friendly event in Downtown Athens and to fundraise so we can support downtown revitalization,” said Athens Grease Festival Publicity Chair Holly Hollman. “We draw thousands to downtown who enjoy highlighting our Southern eccentricity by riding a mechanical bull in toga, tossing a frozen turkey and wearing creative togas, including some for a favorite football team or those made from camouflage material.”
Togas are encouraged, and wearers get $1 off admission ($5 for adults, $4 ages 3-12, 2 and younger are free). There are also toga contests for people and pets.
Besides the fried Twinkies, fried Oreos, fried Nutter Butters, fried pies, fried fruit, fried okra, fried fish, fried bacon, and anything else that can be battered and dropped into a vat of hot grease, there will be live music from local bands, art displays, and a Kids Zone with crafts, street theater, and other activities. Click here to find parking information.
Reigning over the activities will be the 2017 Athena-Grease Goddess, Martha Jo Leonard. She was nominated by retired judge Jimmy Woodroof, who serves in Athens Rotary with Leonard.
The Athena-Grease Goddess is a person who has served their community, and Leonard in addition to serving with Athens Rotary, she serves as executive director of the Limestone Area Community Foundation and volunteers with groups including March of Dimes, American Red Cross, United Way, Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce, Limestone County Foundation for Aging, Athens High School Alumni Association and many others.
She will lead the opening ceremonies in her toga and burlap sash, carrying her battery-operated torch.
Musical performers include The Steel City Jug Slammers, Athens High School Marching Eagles Band, East Limestone Marching Indians Band, Jimmy Henderson Duo, Matt Prater, Of Kith and Kin, Local Honey, and Tom McClung.