‘Soul food at its best’

Keith Strange Staff Reporter

September 27, 2013

In an effort to ease what can be an hours-long line for a soul food favorite at the upcoming Autumn Leaves Festival, organizers of one of the most popular attractions are allowing advance orders and pickup of the popular collard green sandwich plate.

According to Mark Gillespie, one of the organizers of the take-out effort, one of the most popular attractions at the festival is the collard green sandwich booth sponsored by supporters and residents of the Sandy Level community, but standing in the line for the plate can eat up two hours of festival time.

“The line to get to the booth can be hours and hours long,” he said. “It’s one of the most popular booths at the festival, so this year we’re going to try to get orders in advance.”

At this year’s 47th annual festival, which runs Oct. 11-13, visitors will have the opportunity to purchase a sandwich made of cornbread stuffed with collard greens and fat back, pinto beans and a dessert, in advance and pick it up at the Mount Airy Elks Lodge.

Pickup will be available on Oct. 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets must be purchased by Oct. 7, and it is for take-out only. The cost of the plate is $8.

“Hopefully, this will allow those wishing to have the collard green sandwich experience without having to wait in the lengthy and time-consuming line at the festival,” Gillespie said.

Proceeds will go to benefit the Sandy Level community and preservation efforts at the historic Satterfield House, one of the first homes deeded to an African-American in Surry County.

Located at the corner of Franklin Road in Virginia Avenue, the estate is in the process of being renovated with the hopes of eventually being used as a community center.

“Our goal is to sell 400 tickets in advance,” Gillespie said. “More would be great, but if we can cell that many we will be able to restore a room in the Satterfield House.”

Gillespie said that any businesses wanting to order bulk orders are welcome.

“If it’s a big enough order, we’ll deliver it,” he said.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, contact Gillespie at 789-2035.

Reach Keith Strange at or 719-1929.