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Participant’s guide to BBQ & Blues 2013

So, you’re not a musician and you don’t have a professional cook team at your disposal. Don’t sing the blues. There is plenty for you to do at BBQ & Blues 2013 which kicks off April 25 here. On Thursday you can attend the kickoff After Hours event at United Bank, presenting sponsor of the event. There will be food, frolicking and a golf cart decorating contest with the theme ‘˜Smokin’ and the Bandit’. On Friday, you can start at lunchtime by dining downtown, selecting from 20 food vendors who will serve until 10 p.m. If you are good in the kitchen or on the grill, you can prepare entries at home and enter the community cook-off with your wings, stew, chili or dessert. You can also enter your barbecue sauce and, if you finish first, you get a Kamado Joe smoker grill. If you are a gearhead, you can enter your custom car, truck or motorcycle or your vintage tractor in the Smokin’ Wheels Car Show at United Bank. Or you can just walk through and check out all the cool rides and the AMS pace car. That night, there will be free music downtown near the United Bank drive-through featuring the Blues Fish, the Neal Lucas Band and 4U2C with various special guests. On Saturday, you can help judge the pro cook teams’ efforts by participating in the People’s Choice event. You can sample food from 24 teams and pick your favorite. There will also be a Paint the Town competition and a pig which plays the saxophone. At noon, there is more free music featuring Biscuit and Friends, Veronika Jackson and Pryme. Saturday night sees the action move to Ritz Park for the presentation of the Dewaine T. Bell music scholarship and the Georgia Music Legend Award which will go to blueswoman E.G. Kight. There will be blistering jams by The Melflames, The Crossroads Blues Band and Men in Blues. All weekend long you can drop your kids at the Kids Park which will feature more activities than ever before. A $10 wristband is good for allday admission. You can also drop by The Herald-Gazette lot on Greenwood Street and watch the filming of an episode of BBQ Pitmasters. You can also get a raffle ticket for a chance to win a Primo Grill. There’s plenty of fun, food and music for everyone at the fastest growing event of its kind in the nation. For more information and complete schedules, visit http://bbqandblues.org

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