Freedom Food Festival Kicks Off the 4th of July Holiday

Chef Jim prepares Brats, Mac n Cheese, Corn on the Cob.


Main Street in downtown Lexington is converted into a community street and music festival featuring live music, beer/wine sales, desserts, and tasty July 4th picnic-style fare. FREE admission.


This fundraiser pairs local celebrity chefs and restaurants with area Non-profits in a festive, family-friendly atmosphere. The Non-profits work hard to support our community, friends, family, and neighbors. Be GENEROUS and show some LOVE!

  • Bring additional $$$ to support ALL of the participating Non-profits, not just the organization from which you are purchasing your meal.
  • Purchase "People's Choice" tickets and show your support for your our Non-profits. It's the perfect time to make donations to great causes!


Individual "Cook-off" Meal Tickets

Pre-purchase: $15 (+$2.55 fee). Sales end July 2, 2022.

BUY tickets now!
  • Bring a printout of your ticket purchase receipt OR be prepared to show your email receipt on your cell phone.
  • Pick a food tent based on your favorite July 4th menu or based on the Non-profit you wish to support.
  • Present your receipt. The QR Code must be scanned by the Non-profit food tent to redeem your meal.

Day of event: $20 (cash or credit)

  • Purchase a meal directly at the Non-profit food tent with cash or credit card.
    Tables in the VIP section include Sponsor Tables and Reserved Tables and require wristbands for entrance. There will be public tables in the General Seating area.

    Reserved Tables

    Pre-purchase only: $250 (+$16.85 fee). Sales end July 3, 2022.
    Includes a reserved table in the general seating area; 8 meal tickets and 8 waters.

    RESERVE your table now!


    Area Non-profits pair with local celebrity chefs and restaurants/kitchens/caterers for tasty July 4th picnic fare. Food will be served from 5-8pm, so come early!

    Chef Laurie prepares her Spicy Noodles, Lime Asian Slaw, and Grilled Tofu

    Participating Non-profit + Kitchen "Cook-off" Teams

    Boxerwood Education Association
    Laurie Macrae + Southern Inn Restaurant
    Cook-off Meal: Spicy Noodles, Lime Asian Slaw, Grilled Tofu

    Friends of Natural Bridge State Park
    Jim Jones + CHEFS Catering
    Cook-off Meal: Brats, Mac n Cheese, Corn on the Cob

    Rockbridge Area Transportation System
    Michelle Watkins + Devils Backbone Brewing Co.
    Cook-off Meal: Backyard BBQ Bowl-Pulled Whole Hog, Mexican Street Corn Dip, Crumbled Jalapeno and Sour Cream Cornbread, Hop Brined Pickles, DBB Juicy Magic IPA Spiked Watermelon Ball

    Rockbridge County High School Golf Team
    David Miller + CHEFS Catering
    Cook-off Meal: Smoked Chicken Thighs, Bourbon Baked Beans, Slaw

    The Community Table of Rockbridge
    David Faulds + The Community Table
    Cook-off Meal: Chicken Salad Wrap; Fresh Fruit Cup

    Yellow Brick Road Early Learning Center
    Preston Perry + Lexington Golf & Country Club
    Cook-off Meal: Texas Style Pulled Chicken Sliders, sweet & spicy sauce, pickles on a Brioche Bun, Summer Veggie Pasta Salad

    Lexington Police Foundation
    Angela Green + Sweet Treats
    Cook-off Meal: Pollo Enchildo with Mole Sauce, White Rice w Stewed Black Beans, Fried Plantains

    HUNGRY? Order your "cook-off" meal tickets now!

    Kid's Meals
    Hot dog, popcorn & snow cone served on a frisbee ($7) will be available for sale by Hull's Angels, Inc. No tickets required.

    Homemade pies ($5 slice; $7 slice + 1 scoop ice cream) and ice cream ($3 single/$5 double scoop) will be available for sale by Friends of Rockbridge Swimming, Inc. No tickets required.

    Save room for dessert!

    Non-alcoholic Beverages
    Water ($2) and non-alcoholic beverages ($3–ice tea, lemonade, Gatorade, soda) will be available for sale by Rockbridge Area Habitat for Humanity and by Team Na-Na Sports.

    Alcohol Sales

    NEW for 2022—Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA)
    Alcohol sales will be available at participating restaurants for both INSDIE and OUTSIDE consumption.

    Participating Restaurants

    Bistro on Main
    Brew Ridge Taps
    Heliotrope Brewery

    Juniper Lounge


    Niko's Grille


    Southern Inn Restaurant


    How It Works:

    • Participating restaurants will check your ID and issue you a required Freedom Food Festival wristband.
    • Order the beverage of your choice. Options, pour sizes, and prices are set by the individual restaurants.
    • Enjoy your beverage inside the restaurant, OR take it outside and enjoy the festival.
    • Beverages MUST be served in a restaurant branded container for consumption outside AND may only be consumed within the festival footprint*.
    • Please sip responsibly.

    * Alcoholic beverages must be consumed within the BLUE Freedom Food Festival footprint.


    Each team's meal will be judged "cook-off" style by local Veterans.


    Coming soon!

    People's Choice Award

    Purchase (1) ticket for $1 or (7) tickets for $5 (cash only) to support the teams with a People's Choice Award.

    "Cook-off" Judging and People's Choice ticket purchase and voting will be located at the Wells Fargo Plaza. Winners will be announced at 8pm—both receiving the coveted "Spatula Award."


    A special THANK YOU to our partner Lime Kiln Theater for their assistance with the stage and musical talent!

    Acoustic Syndicate: 5-6:30pm

    Live music will kick-off with North Carolina-based ensemble Acoustic Syndicate led by the core trio of guitarist Steve McMurry and his cousins Bryon and Fitz McMurry on banjo and drums. Their sound engages rock sensibilities, tight songcraft, richly textured folk, progressive bluegrass, and punchy jam rock.

    Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley: 7-8pm

    Take a 15-time IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Dobro Player of the Year and a Tennessee-born guitar prodigy who made his Grand Ole Opry debut at the age of 11, and you have Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, a powerhouse acoustic duo that has electrified the acoustic music scene. Known for their white-hot picking, stone country vocals, Ickes and Hensley meld together blues, bluegrass, country, rock and other string band music of all kinds to form a signature blend of music that defies restrictions of genre.

    49 Winchester: 8:30pm-10pm

    Russell County, Virginia-based 49 Winchester is ready and roaring to break onto the national scene with its unique brand of tear-in-your-beer alt-country, sticky barroom floor rock-n-roll, and high-octane Appalachian folk. In addition to lead singer/guitarist Isaac Gibson, there’s also his childhood friend, bassist Chase Chafin, alongside other cronies—guitarist Bus Shelton, and Noah Patrick on pedal steel. “As we’ve aged and matured, our sound has gone from a softer place to this grittier, edgier tone that we have now,” says Gibson. “So, we’re trending more towards being a rock band instead of a country band. But, at the same time, I don’t think anybody’s ever known quite what to call it.” “Fortune Favors The Bold,” the band’s fourth studio album, marks its debut for Nashville’s New West Records—one of the premier labels for Americana, indie and rock acts on the cutting edge of sound, scope and spectacle.


    Participating Sponsors

    A special THANK YOU to our Sponsors! Without you, this event would not be possible.

    CornerStone Bank
    full circle catering
    Hess & Co. Jewelers
    Huffman Insurance Agencies
    Perkins & Orrison
    Southern Inn Restaurant
    Spencer Home Center
    Cattlemen's Market
    Devils Backbone Brewing Company
    CHEFS Catering, Bank of the James
    University Cleaners
    Lexington Prescription Center
    Natural Bridge Historic Hotel & Conference Center


    5pm: Food Service + Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area opens;
    People's Choice Ticket Sales opens
    : Acoustic Syndicate
    : Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley
    : Food Service ends
    : "Spatula Awards" for best Cook-off Meal and People's Choice
    : 49 Winchester
    : Festival + Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area closes


    What does it cost to attend the Freedom Food Festival?
    The festival is admission free!

    • The public may enjoy watching the bands and sitting/eating in the General Admission area at no cost, and no tickets are necessary.
    • Attendees who are Event Sponsors or who have purchased a Reserved Table will have exclusive access to the VIP area, which requires a wristband for entrance.
    • Reserved Tables, Cook-off Meals, Kid's Meals, Desserts, Non-alcoholic Drinks, Beer/Wine/Alcohol, and People's Choice tickets are fee based. Bring $...this is a fundraiser!

    What do I need to bring if I bought a Meal Ticket online?
    You'll need to bring a print out of your Eventbrite ticket receipt, or be able to pull it up on your phone. Take your receipt to the Cook-off tent of your choice—they will scan your receipt and you claim your meal.

    What do I need to bring if I purchased a Reserved Table?
    The individual who purchased the table will receive 8 wristbands and 8 Meal Tickets. Distribute those items accordingly. Entrance to the VIP seating area and to your Reserved Table requires a wristband. No exceptions.

    Are coolers permitted?
    No coolers are permitted. Food and beverages may be purchased at cook-off tents or from local restaurants, and may be consumed within the Festival footprint.

    Are dogs allowed?
    We recommend leaving your fur baby at home enjoying the AC and a cold water bowl, away from the heat, blazing hot asphalt, large groups of people, and tempting food. If you choose to bring your dog, they must be leashed and well-behaved, and the owner must properly dispose of any waste.

    Is the Festival kid-friendly?
    Yes! Children are welcome to attend. Devils Backbone is hosting a Chill Zone with kid's activities. Kid's meals and desserts will be available for sale.

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