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      South Carolina Cornbread Festival held in Columbia

      Cornbread usually complements a Southern meal, but it's taking center stage at a festival this weekend in Columbia.

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH/AP) -- Cornbread usually complements a Southern meal, but it's taking center stage at a festival this weekend in Columbia.

      The North Columbia Business Association is hosting the first South Carolina Cornbread Festival on Saturday. Organizers say they hope to raise diabetes awareness while celebrating a South Carolina tradition with a healthy twist.

      Admission is free. Events kicked off Friday with The Little Miss Muffin pageant. Saturday includes a 5K run/walk, a "Corn Muffin Play Land" for children under 12 and free health screenings.

      North Columbia Business Association Board Member Donald Gist said it is a great way to honor tradition, while also promoting a healthier lifestyle.

      "With the onset of slavery in South Carolina, cornbread became one of the statement foods for slaves. But it crosses every generation. We are recognizing one of our staple foods from a historical perspective. Also we are benefitting people who need to understand how to live sugar free."

      The event also features other types of food, games, music, along with a car and bike show.