ABAC will host barbecue festival

TIFTON -- Nothing is better than well-cooked Southern barbecue -- that is unless you pair it with music and then you have the makings of a good time.

Fun is precisely what coordinators for the Rhythm and Ribs Barbecue Festival, which will take place this weekend in Tifton, are hoping for.

The two-day event will be held Friday and Saturday at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village located at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton. Gates will open for the festival at 5 p.m. Friday and at 9 a.m. Saturday.

According to event organizers, the festival will include a barbecue contest, concert, a 5-kilometer race and one-mile fun run or walk, local entertainment, kid's activities and a variety of vendors.

According to festival organizer Angela Moore, the barbecue contest is sanctioned by the Memphis Barbecue Network. The network will be providing professional judges for the competition that will span the entire two days of the festival.

"There are about 40-50 certified Memphis Barbecue Network judges that will be there as well as some of the local celebrities," Moore said. "We have about 20 teams (that will be competing) which are a mixture between professional and backyard barbecue specialists."

This year the festival has added a People's Choice competition in which festival attendees will have a chance to try some of the team's creations in ribs, shoulder and whole pig categories.

Museum staff will also be demonstrating the traditional way to barbecue a hog by cooking the meat in a pit.

Festival-goers can also work off some of the pounds put on by the pork by participating in Saturday's Hog Jog. The event begins at 9 a.m. and leads participants through the museum and historic village's grounds.

Race registration is $20. Students receive a $3 discount on the registration fee, and family registration is $45 for up to four family members. All participants will get an event T-shirt and free admittance to the barbecue festival. To register for this event, contact Jimmy Ballenger at (229) 391-4939. Moore said those interested in participating in the Hog Jog can still register for the race at 7:45 a.m. on Saturday at the festival.

Entertainment for the festival will be provided by local musician Derrick Dove at 7 p.m. Friday. The Brandi Thornton Band will follow at 8 p.m.

Admission to the site and the concert Friday is only $5. Admission to the event on Saturday is $10 for adults, $5 for students with a valid student ID and free for children 10 and under. Food and drink vendors will be on site for all the activities. Local entertainment will be on stage at the Museum's Opry shelter from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

For more information about the festival, contact Moore at (229) 386-0216.