Due to CSX Railroad construction at Oothcalooga Street, BBQ Boogie & Blues has been moved from Court St. to the City parking lot behind the Calhoun Depot between the railroad tracks and Park Ave. This parking lot will be closed all day today (Friday, April 27) in order to make necessary arrangements for change in venue. Events will be held in this parking lot beginning at 6:30 pm tonight (Friday) through Saturday at 4:00 p.m. when the event ends. Court St. will be open to traffic all weekend. The BBQ participants will still be on Park Ave., but the band, baxter/dean Runway Show and vendors will be located in the parking lot. We hope that everyone will enjoy this new venue and apologize for any inconvenience.
Two Georgia celebrities from the world of barbecue will be in town April 27-28, 2012 as the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Calhoun present the first annual BBQ Boogie & Blues Street Festival. Craig Cardell and William “Bubba” Latimer are both on the professional team roster and will compete in the Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned cook-off highlighting the festival.
Cardell is literally bringing The Right Stuff to the competition and is expected to bring some heat as his team fires up to compete for the Gordon County trophy. Cardell and his wife, Deeanna, own and operate The Oink Joint in Zebulon, Ga. Cardell boasts back-to-back victories as the Georgia State Champion in both 2009 and 2010. He was awarded a perfect score for brisket and was the overall winner in the recent Cornelia contest.
Reigning Georgia State Champion William “Bubba” Latimer, owner of Bub-ba-Q Restaurants in Jasper and Woodstock, Ga., is recognized as one of the premier barbecue masters in the country. He and his wife, Shannon, have been featured in Atlanta Magazine, on the Food Network’s “The Greatest American BBQ Showdown” and in numerous local publications. Bub-Ba-Q was one of the few finalists selected out of a pool of thousands to compete in the reality show, Pitmasters. In the television show, multiple teams compete against one another in a series of challenges related to the art of barbecue.
“We have sixteen professional teams and seventeen amateur teams registered to compete as professionals in the festival and are thrilled to have experienced such a good response our very first year,” said David Scoggins, Chairman of the Board for the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce. “We hope that next year, we will have an even stronger roster. There will be plenty of fun and entertainment in downtown Calhoun this weekend and we hope that the people of Gordon County enjoy all the entertainment and activities.”
Scoggins is one of the judges for the amateur teams and is a graduate of Jack’s Old South Cooking School, where he trained under the legendary Myron Mixon. Mixon is a major player in the barbecue industry and his team won the Memphis in May Team of the year eight times, from 1999-2004, then 2007 and 2009. Mixon is the only competitor to have won the Big Pig Jig contest in Vienna, Georgia five times.
In addition to the barbecue events, the street festival will include a Friday night concert and street dance. Also on Friday night, baxter|dean studio will present a runway fashion show with Biddy Boutique, Shag.The Salon and The Fitting Room benefiting the American Cancer Society. More than twenty local students will appear as runway models for that event. Food and drink vendors will be downtown Friday night and Saturday. Craft vendors will be selling their wares all day Saturday, while local entertainers perform on the Court Street stage. There will be a family-friendly Kids Zone sponsored by the Rock Bridge Church. Bike rides are taking place from the Depot Saturday morning and the Chamber’s Young Professionals are running an Amazing Race centered around the downtown area.