Music variety big draw for 2011 Slugburger Festival

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH – USA Network’s first “Nashville Star” will be the star entertainment attraction for this year’s annual Slugburger Festival that begins Thursday evening on the grounds of the train depot in Historic Downtown Corinth.
Buddy Jewell, who was catapulted into the national spotlight as the first contestant to win “Nashville Star” in 2003, will be the featured performer Saturday. He has developed a broad following of country music fans and tallied up several award-winning hits.
“We’ve put together a good lineup of entertainment, and it’s a family-fun atmosphere,” said John Orman, who chairs the festival for Main Street Corinth.
Headlining the schedule Friday is Jesse Robinson and the 500 Pounds of Blues Band for a taste of authentic Delta blues, Orman said.
“It’s really exciting that we’ve expanded into that area of entertainment,” he continued.
Thursday’s entertainment schedule brings back the popular “Slug Idol” contest, in which amateur performers compete for a chance to perform on the Friday evening show and receive monetary prizes.
Others on the entertainment lineup include the SRX band playing a variety of rock music Thursday, Sweet Tea Jubilee with its blues and classic rock on Friday, and singer RT Rinehart opening for Buddy Jewell on Saturday.
While many people who attend the annual event are drawn by what’s happening on the entertainment stage, the key to the festival’s popularity has always been the food namesake – the slugburger.
“This is a culinary festival unique to our part of the state,” Orman said. “We made national news recently in Parade magazine as one of the top 50 food festivals in the nation, the one featured for Mississippi.”
The festival website explains the nature of this local food favorite, available on the menus of many area eateries: “A slugburger is a burger made of a mixture of beef and some form of cheaper breading extender which is then deep-fat fried to a golden brown instead of grilled as common hamburger.”
Some speculate the name slugburger derived from the fact the sandwiches in early days sold for 5 cents – a nickel – also nicknamed a slug.
Whatever the origin of the name, the burgers have been popular for decades.
“That national exposure is a basis for us to expand the festival, to make it bigger and bring more of a spotlight to our area,” Orman said.
Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@journalinc.com.