Food Inspired Events and Great Causes

They come for the food. It’s been that way forever. Today, the Plateau enjoys the fruits of a vital restaurant ecosystem, from homey mom-and-pop places to dining experiences that have, literally, drawn devotees from around the world.  

This helps to explain the reality of multiple annual events celebrating a variety of foods for great causes. 


Low Country Boil

A raucous celebration that’s perched atop a mountain, hundreds of miles from the ocean. This party deemed authentic by Louisiana residents who summer here, benefits Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park.   

  If it’s true that every dog has its day, then it follows that every dog-lover has her party. For the Cashiers-Highlands, the no-kill shelter for dogs and cats, that translates to Bark, Beer & Barbeque, the best party for the animals attended by the best party animals. It combines a delicious mountain-themed dinner and auction with a beautiful setting. Bark, Beer & Barbeque is the “must-attend” party for animal lovers in the Town of Highlands.  



Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust stages its Satulah-bration in October. It launches with a hike from Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park to the summit of Satulah Mountain. At the center of the celebration is the Chili Cook-Off held the next day at Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park. Local and regional chefs (amateurs and pros) compete to produce the most amazing chili, as judged by the public. 


Empty Bowls 

 On the first Sunday of October, the Empty Bowls Event comes to First Presbyterian Church in Highlands. This grassroots movement helps provide much-needed funds for the Highlands Food Pantry. Empty Bowls is a time to share in homemade soups, prepared by local chefs and served in a hand-made, one-of-a-kind bowl which you may take home. Bowls are created by local potters and all proceeds benefits the International Friendship Center and Food Pantry. Tickets may be purchased in advance from the International Friendship Center and at


HANDS Christmas Festival 

If you’d like to create a unique Christmas memory and envelop yourself in the warmth of a compassionate community, plan to attend the HANDS Christmas Dinner, slated annually on Christmas Day.

  Run entirely by volunteers, with food prepared by local chefs and their staffs, HANDS (Highlands Area Non-Profit Donation Sharing) raises funds for local charities and provides a festive Christmas meal for all of its patrons. This is Highlands at its most delicious, its most festive, and its most infused with holiday cheer.  






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