A great advantage of living in a metropolis, are the excesses of festivals, parades, or celebrations one may simply stumble upon. This weekend’s chili cook off and bluegrass event, the appropriately titled “Chomp and Stomp,” was one such occasion. According to their official website, the mission of this annual cooking circus is in, “Honoring Cabbagetown’s unique past, by bringing in a bit of country and homegrown-cooking to the big city.” By purchasing an all you can eat $5 dollar spoon, one can fill their appetite and indulge until comatose. With the addition of live music, on three separate stages, and friendly confines of one of Atlanta’s most unique neighborhood’s, Chomp the Stomp shouldn’t struggle to become an Atlanta staple. An urban spectacle such as this brings to mind Gunther Barth’s reflection on the Ball Park, as both are capable of “pulling together crowds of strangers who succumbed to a startlingly intense sensation of community created by the shared experience of watching a baseball game (Barth 191).” However, my personal experience revolved around the ability to taste, what seemed like hundreds of intensely rewarding chilis.
Beginning nine years ago, Chomp and Stomp has steadily been increasing with attendance this year expected to reach nearly 20,000. The volume of food vendors has also risen, as more than 90 individual chilis were served.
The previous pictures both do well at exemplifying the sheer volume of vendors, as the tents to the right wrapped around an entire block.
In addition to the vast array of artists, merchants and food vendors alike, the idea behind neighborhood events, such as this, is to unite and bring people together. Here you see how involved the neighborhood of Cabbagetown is in influencing and maintaining this unique experience. The entire neighborhood is seemingly closed down as Chomp and Stomp takes the main stage.
A ninety-minute onslaught of chili would look something like this.
Even U.S. Representative John Lewis (center) for Georgia’s 5th congressional district came to indulge.
Barth, Gunter Paul. City People: the Rise of Modern City Culture in Nineteenth-century America. New York: Oxford UP, 1980.
Chomp And Stomp. 05 Nov. 2011. <http://chompandstomp.com>.