Big turnout expected at Interstate 75 cookout - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Big turnout expected at Interstate 75 cookout

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ASHBURN, GA (WALB) -

A two day showcase of live music and a showdown to determine the best backyard barbecuer is underway in Ashburn.

The I-75 Smoke-Out is this weekend.

Ribs, Chicken and Pork are on the menu for the I-75 Smoke-Out and BBQ Festival. 8 acres behind Carroll's Sausage in Turner County will be filled with music and a BBQ competition.

"I just decided to help the Shriners out because they do so much for the community. I'm a shriner myself, so I know what kind of what they do. They work hard to raise money they do a lot for the kids and just do a lot for the community, for a lot of people all around," said Hugh Hardy.

Organizers are turning what used to be a small event in Albany to a big festival at this new venue right off Interstate 75.

"It's going be a great thing for the country. People over in Albany, it's not that far drive. We're centrally located in South Georgia. So it's not a bad commute for anybody in the WALB viewing area to come over and participate," said Hugh Hardy.

Teams were arriving this afternoon, getting the grills started and prepping their meats for the big BBQ competition. The winners will a coveted trophy and $5,000. Former competitor Robby Royal says this is serious business.

"I get an adrenaline rush. It's my release. I have a stressful job being the EMS Director and Fire Chief for Turner County this is my way to give back this weekend," Robby Royal.

Royal will be judging the 20 teams from Georgia and some from Florida. But while everyone is having some fun, there's also a good reason behind this event.

"We're here to have fun and give away a little money, but it's all about raising money for the Shriners Hospital," said Robby Royal.

The festival will also have live bands, a car show and events for the whole family.

Advance tickets which are available at Carroll's and at Threeforty in Albany are $15 for the weekend. Tickets at the gate are $20. Gates open Saturday at 10 a.m.

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