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New look BBQ & Blues Festival kicks off today

Large crowds are expected in town this weekend for the revamped BBQ & Blues Festival which, for the first time, will not include a competition barbecue cook-off.

Festival goers will certainly not go hungry, however, as space has been set aside for 20 food trucks and competition cooking will be the name of the game in the expanded Taster’s Alley section.

There will also be plenty of music on tap to keep that tradition alive.

United Bank gets things rolling with the annual kick-off party at the main bank building on Main Street Thursday from 5-7 p.m. There will be food, drinks and entertainment for revelers.

The festival opens at 5 p.m. Friday. The kids park, which has been moved nearer Market Street this year, will host Free Jump Friday sponsored by Advanced Roofing & Interiors.

The stage will be located in the grassy area between the United Bank operations center (old FNB) and First United Methodist Church. Local musician Caleb Anthony will perform at 5:30 p.m. Friday followed by the 3rd Generation Band at 7 p.m.

The music continues Saturday with No Strings Attached taking the stage at 10:30 a.m. followed by the 201 Band at 12:30 p.m. Southern Creed goes on at 3 p.m. followed by Matt Floyd at 6 p.m.

The Taster’s Alley competition begins at noon in the Stafford Block parking area. Visitors vote for the best food using tokens. A limited number of token kits are available at the chamber of commerce office for $20. Participants will award a golden token to their favorite competitor.

Prize money for the competitors runs from $200 to $1250 for the first place winner. Those awards will be presented at 5 p.m. at the main stage.

There are spots for 53 vendors who will display their wares in the area surrounding Taster’s Alley.

Another new feature will be an axe throwing area for visitors to display their lumberjack skills.
It promises to be a fun-filled weekend. For more information, call the chamber of commerce office at 404.733.7034.

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