Smoke Under the Oaks to bring good food, family fun

Published 8:05 am Friday, August 2, 2013

Smoke Under the Oaks

The first-ever ‘Smoke Under the Oaks’ barbeque competition and festival promises to be a good time for all ages at the Bainbridge Country Club, which is hosting the event next Friday and Saturday.

A low country boil and a concert by local country recording artist Kalen Jones will take place next Friday night, while an officially-sanctioned barbeque cooking competition for both pros and amateurs will be the highlight of next Saturday’s events.

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Proceeds from all of the events will benefit the Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society, event co-organizer Rob McRae said.

The festivities will kick off next Friday night, when the Country Club hosts a Low Country Boil for the barbeque cooks and event sponsors. One hundred plate tickets will be made available to the public for $20 each. Because they are limited, they are being sold directly by McRae, whose business telephone is (229) 243-0164.

“The Low Country Boil will be a good chance to mingle and talk shop with the BBQ cooks, who are coming from all over the Southeast to compete,” McRae said.

An outdoor concert by Kalen Jones, a young country singer who sounds a lot like her idols, Gretchen Wilson and Miranda Lambert, will take place from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets to the concert are just $5 each; concessions will be available.

Saturday morning, as the barbeque chefs start getting ready to cook, running enthusiasts are invited to run a 5K race on the Country Club’s beautiful golf course.

“We’re going to plot the 5K track along the rough lines of three golf holes,” McRae said. “The first 75 participants will get a T-shirt and a squirt bottle, and there will be door prize drawings after the race.”

The BBQ cooking will be hot and spirited by 10 a.m., when gates open to the public at 10 a.m. Tickets are $5 for adults; kids are free, with 100 percent of proceeds going to the Humane Society, McRae said.

The $5 entry will allow families to view the BBQ cooking up close; McRae said organizers expect 40 professional teams, including 10 of the top 100 BBQ teams in the nation, to be at ‘Smoke Under the Oaks’ and compete in several different categories, including “Best Pork,” “Best Ribs” and “Best Brisket.” There will also be about 20 “Backyard Division” entries.

The event has been sanctioned by the Florida Barbeque Association and recognized as a special event by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.

The BBQ teams will be allowed to sell some of their food to the public, and the country club’s ballroom will be open for folks to eat in the air conditioning. There will also be concessions and a beer tent available.

Two Jacksonville bands will take the stage on Saturday afternoon. The stage has been set up so that people can listen to the music while lounging in the pool.

There will also be a bounce house, water slides and other activities for kids.

Vendors such as the Big Green Egg and John Deere will have displays and raffle prize drawings.

Event organizers have also planned to make ample parking available. For more information, visit