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Last updated: April 02. 2014 10:44AM - 1177 Views

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The 7th Annual Smoke on the Water BBQ Cook-Off and Music Festival is set for April 4-5, in Thomaston, GA. Music and BBQ enthusiasts are invited to come and enjoy some of the Southeast’s best barbecue and live entertainment in the area. The two day event will take place at Bickley’s Lake in Thomaston.


This year’s S.O.T.W. is a Florida Barbecue Association (FBA) sanctioned event and the Georgia State Championship. Thousands of dollars and bragging rights are up for grabs in this year’s BBQ competition.


Since its inception in 2007, S.O.T.W. has been able to donate over $90,000 back into the community from the fundraiser. Started by a group of friends as a way to give back to their community, the cook-off and musical festival has become a mainstream event for their hometown. Over 60 cooking teams participated in the 2013 cooking competition and 4,000 people attend the weekend event.


Teams entered into the BBQ competition will be competing in the categories of chicken, ribs, pork and/or brisket. Teams competing have the potential to win trophies as well as cash prizes from a pot of over $12,000. Grand Champion of Smoke on the Water will qualify for the Jack Daniel’s and American Royal barbecue qualifiers, along with other great events held in high esteem among the BBQ elite. A John Boy and Billy’s Grillin’ Sauce BBQ sauce competition and a stew competition will take place, and back by popular demand will be the People’s Choice Award for pulled pork. Cooking team applications are available online at www.sotwfestival.com. Cooking teams will be selling their product along with a multitude of other unique arts and crafts vendors.


The music festival has been the stage to hit performers such as 2012 CMA New Artist of the Year Nominee Brantley Gilbert (2010), Grammy award winner Marty Stewart (2011), southern rockers Blackberry Smoke (2012) and Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit (2013).


S.O.T.W. 2014 will feature one of its most evenly distributed music lineups yet, highlighted by a bushel of area bands on the verge of major exposure. Great musical artist are scheduled for this year’s music experience including Soul Kitchen, Daniel Lee, Brent Cobb, Andy Miller, Muddy Guy, Aces & Eights, The Tyler Hammond Band, and Sonia Leigh.


On Friday night the featured headliner and Nashville recording artist Jon Pardi will rock the stage with his hit songs ‘Missing You Crazy’ and ‘Up All Night’. Pardi’s hit song ‘Up All Night’ hit the top 10 on the County Billboard Chart.


Another great S.O.T.W. weekend will come to a close on Saturday night with Coy Bowles and the Fellowship. Bowles is a member of the Grammy winning Zac Brown Band and has co-written several of the ZBB’s award winning songs.


Weekend passes are $25 and include admission to both days of the festival. Tickets for Friday only are $20 and tickets for Saturday only are $10 until 5PM in which the price will go up to $15. Children under 12 years of age get in free. Rent a camper spot for $30, or take your shot on first-come, first-serve tent camping for $10. Gates will be open from 4 p.m. until 11 p.m. on Friday, and from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are available online at www.sotwfestival.com. Area vendors and the expanded Kidz Zone provide fun for the entire family. Coolers, lawn chairs and blankets are welcome.


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