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Saturday thousands of people will spend the day celebrating a southern staple: the biscuit.

On Friday, organizers put the finishing touches on a year of preparation for what has become one of Knoxville's most iconic festivals.

The International Biscuit Festival started Thursday with a Southern Food Writer's conference and goes through Sunday. Saturday is the main event, Biscuit Boulevard, where people can sample all types of biscuits.

Here's a look at the festival by the numbers:

  • 20,000- people expected to attend
  • 5,000- people who attended in 2010, the festival's first year
  • 30,000- biscuits expected to be served
  • 150- volunteers
  • 20- vendors
  • $10- cost of one ticket
  • 9 a.m.- start time of festival

Southern Living Magazine came back for a second year in a row. The magazine's test kitchen director, Robby Melvin, said they learned a valuable lesson last year.

"We were out of biscuits in like an hour. We were mobbed. We had no idea we would get such an amazing response. And that the turnout for the festival would be what it was. So we upped the ante this year with 2,500 biscuits," Melvin said.

Southern Living is debuting a pickle biscuit. It's their ultimate biscuit recipe with dill relish mixed in.

"Pretty different and pretty spectacular we think," Melvin said.

The test kitchen is based in Birmingham. Melvin said they made the dough, cut out the biscuits, and froze them earlier this week. They then shipped them to Knoxville to be baked fresh Saturday morning.

They are also introducing what they call a bigger and better tent that will resemble a southern porch.

"We love this festival. First of all, Knoxville is a great town," said Southern Living's deputy Director of Food Whitney Wright. "We enjoyed meeting the people enjoyed being a part of it."

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