River Town Days 2015 to combine best of music, fishing and BBQ

Published 9:27 pm Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The smell of barbecue, the blast of live music and the sound of motorboats revving can only mean one thing in Bainbridge.
Those looking for a weekend to officially welcome the coming of springtime in Southwest Georgia should look no further than the annual River Town Days festival set for Friday, March 13, and Saturday, March 14, at the Earle May Boat Basin.
Barbecue celebrity Myron Mixen, famous for his appearances on the TV series BBQ Pitmasters, will be visiting Bainbridge to compete in the second annual Flames on the Flint barbecue competition. During the course of his career, Mixen has won more than 180 barbecue grand championships and 1,700 barbecue trophies.
“He is just the superstar of barbecue competitions,” Adrienne Harrison, Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce president said. “He’s been on Pitmasters and he’s very well known, so we’re excited about having him here.”
As of Tuesday, 54 teams have signed up to compete.
Final judging for the Flames on the Flint competition will be Saturday, March 14, at 5 p.m, with teams rolling into the boat basin and cooking that Friday. This year’s grand prize is $30,000.
The competition is also teaming with Decatur County Family Connection, an organization committed to improving conditions for at-risk children, families and communities, to raise money with a separate People’s Choice competition. Hungry attendees can pay to try 10 different barbecue samples, each from a different team, along with chips and a drink. Tasters pick their favorite barbecue and vote, with the winner getting a cash prize. All proceeds go to Family Connection.
Friday night, the crowd can enjoy live music from Fly By Radio, a 1980s cover band influenced by groups like Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC and Metallica.
“They sing 80s music and they sing current stuff too,” Harrison said. “They really get the crow involved.”
Saturday morning, the boat basin will open back up to feature games and rides for kids. Armbands for the rides will be $10 and allow unlimited access throughout the day. Also coming is blacksmith group Southern Bladesmiths, which includes local member Bob Stott. The crew will be forging and performing demonstrations with blades.
New this year is the inclusion of the Lake Seminole Open Bass Tournament, which will take place Saturday and Sunday. Usually scheduled in the fall, the tournament was moved to coincide with River Town Days and offer attendees a chance to watch some of the best fisherman in the region.
“I think it will be a good draw with people,” Harrison said. “Last year was such a big splash with the (Bassmaster Elite Series) going on. It’s always fun to have out of town people here for that, and it’ll give something for the families to do while the guys are off fishing.”
The grand prize for the Lake Seminole Open is $5,000. Participants have until the morning of the tournament to enter.
The Bainbridge Farmers’ Market will be set up at the boat basin during their normal hours of 7 a.m. to noon. Other vendors selling food and other items will also be set up Saturday.
The City of Bainbridge will be sponsoring a 5K race Friday evening and a kid’s bike race Saturday morning.
“This has really become a community event,” Harrison said. “Everybody is jumping in to make sure this stays a successful family festival and gets everybody here.”

Email newsletter signup