First Tri-State Barbeque Festival Kicks Off

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The first Tri-State Barbeque Festival kicks off tomorrow, at the Peanut Festival Fairgrounds in Dothan. The event features amateur and professional barbeque competitions in addition to an array of fun activities for the whole family.

There will be lots of entertainment options to choose from. In preparation for the hot weather, there are going to be lots of water activities including a slip and slide for kids and for adults just one of many exciting things to look forward to.

Barbeque is a traditional southern dish and Dothan is working to incorporate the food into an annual festival. While this is the first of its kind in the area, Dothan officials have big expectations for the competition.

Exec. Dir. National Peanut Festival Hatch Toffey said, "We're expecting a tremendous event. The Florida BBQ association says its one of the biggest they've seen."

There are 43 professional barbeque teams from several of the surrounding states that will be competing at the festival. Many of the competitors say they are amazed at how well put together the festival has been so far.

"You're doing excellent. This is one of the best events I've seen. Best activities for everyone and it's really exciting. Even with the heat we're having lots of fun," said Shannon Latimer.

Lots of amateur grill masters are attempting to take home one of the many trophies up for grabs, but say that's not the real reason they are participating.

"Just to have a good time. It is just what we enjoy doing," said Chad Jordan.

The main event at Saturday's festival is the announcing of the cook-off winners.

That will take place around 6:30, but another big activity kicks off at 6 o'clock, that's when former Alabama band member Jeff Cook will be performing with Mitch Glenn. Gates open at 10 in the morning.

Tickets for the festival are $10 for adults. Children 11 through five are $5, and anyone younger than 4 gets in free.