Encore of fun for Big Barbecue Bash May 10

The second annual Big Barbecue Bash will be Friday and Saturday, May 9 and 10, on the grounds of the Alcoa Municipal Building in Springbrook Corporate Center. Cookers and guests start their grills on Friday, with the public invited to come and enjoy the music, vendors, activities and, of course, barbecue, on Saturday, May 10.

The 2007 event featured 36 amateur teams in a competition to see who had the best barbecue. Monies raised by the Big Barbecue Bash go to New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center and Helen Ross McNabb Center, with participants also given the opportunity to raise funds for their favorite charity.

The entry fee varies depending on the amount of space requested and scholarships are available for organizations or individuals wishing to compete in the barbecue contest.

Melissa Copelan, one of the Big Barbecue Bash committee chairs, said that “first and foremost” people interested in participating or attending the event should expect great barbecue and fellowship.

Copelan said that in addition to the barbecue, new vendors also will be selling everything from ice cream and shaved ice to hamburgers, hotdogs and funnel cakes.

Another fun activity being repeated this year will be the Mayoral Regatta, a race around the pond in the middle of Springbrook Corporate Center. The event will be “no-holds barred” this year, Copelan said.

“Anything goes! All you have to do is make sure you can carry your canoe or kayak from your vehicle to the water -- in one trip,” she said. “Other than that, we don’t care what you do.”

Copelan said the regatta planners expect more of the same type of controversy at this year’s event. “We fully expect those shenanigans,” she said.

The Regatta and Big Barbecue Bash is free to the public on Saturday.

To sign up to compete in the barbecue contest, regatta or be a sponsor and get an invitation to the prestigious Chris Lilly Cooking School, go to www.BlountbbqBash.com.

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