The smoky aroma of pit-cooked barbecue and the mournful sounds of wailing guitars will fill the downtown-Hinesville air Saturday.
The ninth annual Blues & BBQ is set for 4-11 p.m. in the parking lot behind the Justice Center on Main Street. The free, family-oriented event includes several competitions, live entertainment and lots of food. The Hinesville Downtown Development Authority is sponsoring the barbecue contest; The Hinesville Area Arts Council and Liberty County Convention & Visitors Bureau are organizing other contests. Bob Mathews — a marketing specialist with Fort Stewart Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation — said FMWR is providing the sound stage for the musicians and working with local organizations for promotion. He said this year’s entertainment will include Jimmy Wayne Renfro and Everready, along with featured performer Joey Gilmore.
Katrina Barrow of the HDDA said the barbecue competition has nine contestants. There also will be six food vendors.
The competition will consist of four categories: pork butt, chicken thighs, ribs and a people’s choice category, which usually is pulled pork. Barrow said the barbecue competition will be judged by local leaders and media personalities. Judging criteria for each category will be presentation, taste and tenderness.
Vicki Davis, HDDA executive director, said the public can donate $5 for tokens to sample the competing entries and vote for the people’s choice winner. Donations will benefit the HAAC.
Leah Poole, HAAC chairwoman, said in addition to the barbecue competition, there will be contests for sidewalk chalk art and sweet tea.
“Several local restaurants and caterers are providing five gallons of sweet tea for this contest,” said Poole, who added that beer also will be sold during the event. “There is no cost to compete or vote for your favorite sweet tea.”