The inaugural Paulding County Stars and Stripes Festival and BBQ Cookoff is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., both days, at Silver Comet Field airport on Rockmart Highway. Admission is free, though two Paulding veterans aid organizations will be selling food and beverages to benefit their efforts.
About 40 professional and amateur barbecuers will work over two days to win at least $7,000 in prizes in a Georgia Barbecue Association-sanctioned competition. Robby Royal and “Big” Moe Cason, both of the Destination America TV show “BBQ Pitmasters” are set to be among the competitors.
The American Legion Riders Post 111 will sell hot dogs, hamburgers and barbecue sandwiches, and National Guard support group Operation Appreciation will sell drinks.
Riders president John Cagle said his 65-member group of motorcyclists happily joined with event organizers because of the cookoff’s emphasis on assisting veterans’ groups. The Riders, affiliated with the 500-member American Legion post in Dallas, assist with such efforts as helping wounded soldiers return to civilian life and charities for soldiers’ children.
“We’re for supporting the troops … past, present and future,” Cagle said.
Country musician Mike Brookshire and Fleetwood Mac tribute band White Winged Dove are scheduled to provide live music for the event.
Other attractions are set to include inflatable children’s play areas, a classic car show and raffles to win a Jeep Wrangler, a 9mm Steyr handgun and one-year membership to the Governors Gun Club in Powder Springs.
Beth Waters of Operation Appreciation said East Paulding High School JROTC cadets will assist her group with raffle ticket sales and parking.
Antique mall owner Chuck Rutland originated the idea for the event but found it growing too large for its original downtown Dallas location, supporters said. Salute America Air Show organizer Brent Sparks then agreed to assist in its move to the Paulding airport site off Rockmart Highway.
Stacy Hamby, business development director for the Paulding Chamber of Commerce, said her group was “excited to get involved” in sponsoring and supporting the event.
“We’re pleased to be part of it,” she said.