This weekend will mark Barnesville’s 9th Annual Barbeque and Blues Festival which will be held downtown Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27. The event offers fun for all ages with a community cook-off, kid’s park, car show, People’s Choice barbeque judging contest, filming of BBQ Pitmasters and live music all weekend long.
The festival will actually kick off on Thursday evening with a Business After Hours hosted by United Bank from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. and a golf cart decorating contest with the theme “Smokin’ and the Bandit.” Cash prizes for first, second and third place will be given with the first place winner also receiving a sign to place on their cart for the weekend festivities. All carts should be checked in by 6 p.m. and will be judged at 6:30 p.m.
Patrons can begin sampling their favorite barbeque by visiting the Food Court starting at lunch on Friday. Then Friday evening the Community Cook-Off featuring chili, wings, stew, desserts will give citizens a chance to show off their cooking skills. At 7:30 p.m. judging will begin for the Barbeque and Blues Sauce Contest at First United Methodist Church. It is only $20 to enter, is open to the public and the winner will get a Komado Joe Grill. The kids park, which features more inflatables than ever before, will be open from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. and wristbands for the area are only $10 per day (the kids park is also open on Saturday).
The Smokin’ Wheels Car Show will begin at 6 p.m. with awards being announced at 9 p.m. There is a $10 entry fee that will be split 50/50 towards the crowd favorite award and the first 100 to register will be given a gift bag supplied by Atlanta Motor Speedway and Summit Racing Equipment. Prizes given away will include NASCAR tickets sponsored by the Atlanta Motor Speedway. BBQ Pitmasters will be filming on site and the show is open to cars, trucks, motorcycles and tractors. Guests will also have the chance to see the Atlanta Motor Speedway Pacecar.
Bands will begin playing a free concert at 5 p.m. at the BBQ Stage and will feature bands The Blues Fish from 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m., Neal Lucas Band from 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. and 4U2C from 8 p.m.-10 p.m.
The festival opens at 9 a.m. on Saturday with the kid’s park being open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and live bands playing on the BBQ Stage from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. At 12 noon, you can be the judge and sample barbeque from 24 different teams for only $10. The “People’s Choice” will take place in front of United Bank.
The Saturday night concert will be held at the Ritz Park Amphitheater; next to the Barnesville Post Office beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tickets for the concert are just $10 and may be purchased at Ritz Park, no coolers are allowed. Bands playing that evening will be The Melflames from 6 p.m.-7:15 p.m., the Crossroads Blues Band from 7:30 p.m.-9p.m., and the Men in Blues from 9:30 p.m.-11 p.m.
Between bands from 9 p.m.-9:30 p.m. E. G. Kight will be presented her Georgia Music Legend Award and will be playing with the Crossroads Blues Band earlier in the evening. The Dewaine T. Bell Scholarship will also be given out during this time by the 2013 BBQ and Blues Committee in memory of late Mayor Dwaine T. Bell who had a love for music, education and the local high school. This is the seventh year the scholarship has been awarded to a Lamar County High School senior who has a passion for music and plans on attending college. The award is funded by sponsorships as well as paper pig sales. The cut out pigs will be sold and displayed around town at local merchants for $1, $5 and $10. Be sure to purchase a pig and support this wonderful scholarship opportunity.
For more information on the event contact the Barnesville-Lamar County Chamber of Commerce at 770-358-5884 or visit www.bbqandblues.org.