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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Paint and Pork Time of Year!

Spring Festival is only four weeks away.
By Sid Riley

If all you plan to do is to go to the festivities, eat a lot of great barbecue, enjoy the music, watch the fireworks display, tour the arts and crafts show, visit the many vendor booths, and generally have a great weekend of enjoyment….then you still have plenty of time to prepare yourself. However, if you plan to participate in any of these events you need to be picking up an application and signing up.
Thursday – April 16:
The weekend will begin with the special select barbecue dinner on Thursday evening, April 16. Only 500 tickets will be sold to those real connoisseurs of barbecue who want a meal prepared by the best of the professional teams who will be competing at the event. Musical entertainment will be provided by "2nd Time Around" for this kick-off function. This part of the festival will be sponsored by Jackson Hospital.
Friday- April 17:
Friday morning fires up the grills. Tempting smelling smoke will fill the meadow and perhaps reach downtown Marianna as the pork begins to sizzle on the professional team grills and the local backyard bragger grillers grills, as both groups apply their special techniques to generate their signature flavors.
The backyard grillers will turn in their delicacies late Friday afternoon for judging. The pro’s will do their thing on Saturday. At 7:30 the Friday cooking will be judged and scores tabulated.
The Pros will cook and compete in three categories: whole hog-pork shoulder-and pork ribs. The Backyard Cookers will compete in five areas: Anything Butt-Stew-Poultry-Dessert-and Sauce. Also, contestants can enter the "Peoples Choice" event which involves cooking 10 pounds of chopped meat which will be presented to the public on Saturday in the "Peoples Choice Tent", for the small cost of $3.00. Those who dine in this tent will then vote for which meat they enjoyed the most while they were in the tent "piggin’ out". The meat for these entries is provided to the cooks by the festival.
It is anticipated that approximately ten professional teams will participate in this certified Memphis Barbeque Network event, traveling from states throughout the Southeast. Thirty to fifty certified judges will determine the outcome of the contest. Over twenty "Backyard" entries are expected.
The highlight of Friday evening’s festival festivities will be a huge fireworks extravaganza sponsored by Marianna Toyota. Music for the evening will be provided by Rebel Syndicate Band.
The Arts and Crafts displays in the Citizens Lodge Building will be open on Friday from noon until 10:00 PM. On Saturday their schedule will be from 9:30 AM until 7:30 PM.
Saturday – April 18:
You might want to put on your jogging shorts and sneakers for the 5K run on Saturday morning. This event is sponsored by Ben Saunders Dentistry. For details about the morning run, call 557-0982.
Saturday is the day the Professional Cooks will fire up and apply their special techniques to the Whole Hog, Ribs, and Shoulder preparations for judging which begins at 10:00 AM and continues through the day until final judging at 2:15 PM. The Peoples Choice judging will also occur during this time. The winners will be announced and prizes presented in a special ceremony at 6:30 PM on the Main Stage.
For more information, or to obtain an entry form call Richard Kunde at 850-209-2959, or go to, or

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