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BBQ & Blues a big hit!

By Walter Geiger The ninth annual BBQ & Blues Festival held in downtown Barnesville over the weekend was among the best ever with nothing but positive reports, according to event chairman T.J. Imberger. New to the festival this year was the filming of an episode of the hit television program BBQ Pitmasters. Feedback from the cast and crew was overwhelming. ’The producers and cast told me it was the best location they have ever been to. Most festivals are at some park or fairgrounds. They loved being in town. They thought Barnesville was beautiful. Most places they go there is no off-set filming but here they were able to do that and they loved it,’ Imberger said. Also praising the event were the Florida BBQ Association reps in town for the cook-off. ‘They do this all the time. They said we are the most organized and have the best volunteers of any event they do,’ Imberger added. The BBQ & Blues committee consisted of about 30 members who worked all year. Over the weekend, 130 volunteers stepped up to make sure things ran smoothly. It was a good weekend for event vendors as well. ‘They were all very pleased. Most of them sold out. Even our car show was the biggest we have had,’ Imberger added. Behind the scenes but playing a pivotal role were the employees of the City of Barnesville. ’I just can’t say enough about the cooperation of the city. They go above and beyond. The county also stepped up and made resources available. Other event organizers tell me they want to do this in their towns and I tell them they can’t because they will never get the cooperation and number of volunteers we do. Barnesville is a sppecial place,’ Imberger concluded. Big plans are on tap for next year – the 10th anniversary. Music coordinator Carl Pruett is expecting an appearance by former Allman Brothers Band member and current Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell. ’We’re going to try and bring back everybody who has performed for a big reunion show,’ Pruett said.

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