June 3, 2017
The Liver Mush Festival celebrates the local favorite food and its heritage in western North Carolina. It is held 5-9 PM in downtown Marion, just 35 miles from Asheville. The historic Main Street is filled with a variety of vendors, a long line for the coveted liver mush sandwich, hog calling and cheers for the liver mush eating contest. It's one of our Top Summer Festivals & Events. We loved our 2017 visit and took these photos.
The event includes a free liver mush sandwich to the first 1,500 people in line from the generous folks at Hunter's, maker of the local favorite. The line stretched for a full city block, so I'm glad we got there early before they ran out. Locals gave us some advice on condiments (mustard is best) and how they like fried liver mush even better.
This longtime southern favorite is composed of pig liver and other parts mixed with cornmeal. It is spiced with pepper and sage, so it's a similar taste to sausage. Hunter's Liver Mush is made in Marion.
Typically, it comes in a loaf, then you slice off some for a sandwich, often after it is fried. It is popular as a breakfast meat, served with eggs and grits.
This year, the Liver Mush Festival moved to Saturday night with more vendors along the closed Main Street for an iconic small town America street fair.
Find a big variety of local vendors with art, clothing and many hog-related items. There's also a kids' area with face painting, balloon making and inflatables for play.
You can dance off your calories to live music! For dessert, stop by Mr. Donuts (although they sold out by 6 PM). We settled for caramel kettle corn!
The crowd favorite event is the livermush eating contest at 7 PM (pic from 2016).
Take on the defending Hog Calling Champion.
For more information about the festival, call 828-652-2215. In case of rain, the concert will be at the Historic Marion Tailgate Market cover, 67 West Henderson Street.
Carolina Donut Festival
April 21, 2018: Also in downtown Marion, the Carolina Donut Festival with plenty of sweet, delicious treats and art and crafts to buy from local and regional artisans. Also enjoy a donut eating contest, a donut race, bobbing for donuts and donut toss contest.
Also, see our Top 12 Foodie Favorites.