ATLANTA — For those of you looking to enjoy food, fellowship and booze before, during or after the Super Bowl -- look no further than the Southern Roots Festival located directly across the street from Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The week-long festival takes place at the corner of Northside Drive and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW. The festival has an all-star lineup featuring some well-known Atlanta natives: Mulatto, Backpack Kid, NiaKay, DJ Kelly and more.
The creator of the Southern Roots Festival, Celebrity Chef Ashley Clay, said the festival aims to showcase local food vendors looking to make their mark in Atlanta.
"This wasn't easy. These food trucks weren't invited to the places everyone else are this weekend," she said. "So, I need to create that place for them. I needed to create a space that, when you come, you really get a true essence of who and what Atlanta is. We are Atlanta."
Clay said a lot of hard work was put into the festival and every detail is purposeful - including the location.
"We are on the corner of Northside Drive and Martin Luther King. This is the Promiseland," Chef Clay said. "If he could be here today, he would say this is something for us by us ... and it is done right. This is at the highest level of production. This is a couple million dollars of infrastructure."
She said some of the vendors have shed tears and are completely amazed that they get to showcase their food directly across from the stadium.
" [A close friend] told me about it and I said oh my gosh...I would love to be a part of this [festival]," said Chef Simone.
The family-friendly festival also showcases authors such as Monyetta Shaw and ex-fiance of singer-songwriter Neyo. Shaw's new book is called "Keep It Classy" and she said she hopes the book will equip guardians with co-parenting strategies for "unstoppable moms and devoted dads."
"What everyone needs to realize is that it's about the kids," said Shaw. "We [Neyo and Shaw] co-parent very well," Clay said. "Of course, it's not perfect, but it's positive and that's what it is all about."
Southern Roots features the vibrant – and culturally diverse – entrepreneurial community of Atlanta with programming that highlights food, sports, gaming and special events curated by lifestyle influencers, according to Clay.