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BBQ & Blues kicks off

The 13th annual BBQ & Blues Festival returns this weekend with over 25 cook teams, food vendors and live music. Festivities begin Thursday evening with the annual kick-off party and business after hours event hosted by United Bank. The opening night will feature a 16 team cornhole tournament, live music with Diana New, food and drink, raffle tickets and prizes and opportunities to meet with local businesses and sponsors. Registration for the cornhole tournament begins at 5 p.m. that evening and bags fly at 6 p.m. BBQ & Blues entertainment will continue Friday with a free concert featuring performances by Master Blaster and the Psychedelic Velvet Band. The music will accompany the annual cooking contests for best sauce, best wings and best dessert. The festival will stay true to its theme Saturday and make ‘˜The cook team the event’. BBQ competitions will be held throughout the day. Ongoing live music from Big John and Chevy Show and Tyler Hammond, a car show benefitting local charities, food vendors, a kid’s park and other activities will fill the day. People’s choice voting will be available Saturday morning for $10 where visitors can sample a variety of competition BBQ. Contest winners will be announced at the awards ceremony and prize give-a-way before the event’s closing concert at Ritz Park. The car show will take place in the United Bank parking lot from noon to 4:30 p.m. and feature a 50/50 raffle, door prizes and a variety of cars, trucks, motorcycles and race vehicles. Registration will begin at 11 a.m. for those entering vehicles. Judging begins at 1 p.m. The registration fee is $20 per vehicle and all proceeds will go to local charities. The judging classes range from pre-1960 to current model vehicles including motorcycles, foreign vehicles, race vehicles and specialty vehicles. In addition to formal judging, people’s choice judging will be available at $1 per entry. Awards for car show participants will be given out at 4:30 p.m. For additional information contact Tim Cherry at 770-358-2789, or Weekend festivities will conclude with the annual Saturday night concert featuring performances by DJ Nay Nay, Southbound, Dos Blues Guys and twotime Grammy nominated artists Big Mike and the Booty Papas. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. with $10 admission. A running list of competing cook teams is available on the festival’s website along with the cooking competition categories and their payouts. Shirts and tank tops are available at the chamber office and are $12. Any shirts larger than XL are $15. For additional information, contact the chamber office at 770-358-5884.

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