Some 30 professional teams are expected in Calhoun, Ga., this weekend for a state barbecue championship sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society.
The contest is part of BBQ Boogie & Blues, now in its second year in downtown Calhoun. Teams will be competing for $8,000 in cash prizes and other awards. Amateurs will be competing in a Backyard BBQ competition.
New to the festivities this year is the Payne's Farm Strawberry Dessert Competition for professional and novice cooks, along with a Miss Strawberry Pageant for girls ages 3-16.
The dessert competition kicks off the festival at 6 p.m. Friday, April 26, in the Court Street area. The pageant follows at 7.
At 8 p.m., 35 students will showcase fashions available in Gordon County in the Baxter/Dean Fashion Runway Show. All proceeds from the show will go to the Gordon County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
On Saturday, April 27, events begin at 9 a.m. with a bike ride hosted by Cherokee Cycles; registration starts at 7:30 a.m. All proceeds benefit the Alzheimer's Association.
The Amazing Race, in which runners traverse an undisclosed route, begins at 9 a.m. on Wall Street. Registration will be taken through Friday night.
The Calhoun and Gordon County Antique Tractor and Engine Club will offer free tractor and wagon rides around town. At BB&T City Park, Rock Bridge Community Church will provide inflatables and treats for kids.
Most events are centered in the central historic downtown district, primarily along Court Street, Park Avenue and Wall Street.
Among the other activities are a Sonoraville High School presentation of "Jane Eyre: A Musical Drama" at the Gem Theatre, the Georgia String Band Festival at the Harris Arts Center on Saturday and a free concert by The Georgia Crackers and Ryan & Burchfield there Friday.
For details, call 706-625-3200 or 706-602-5570.