This Veterans Day, Columbia County will celebrate in a big way by saluting the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces with a barbecue cook-off, the American Vietnam Veterans' Tribute, arts and crafts and entertainment.
"The whole purpose of this is to celebrate Veterans Day with our veterans," said Bobby Waters, the chairman of the recreation board.
For the past two years, plans have been molded for the celebration. The Martinez Merchants Association and AB Beverage Co. Inc. have agreed to help sponsor the event Nov 15- 16 after Veterans Day.
"The American Vietnam Veterans' Tribute is a replica of the Wall in Washington, D. C.," said Stacie Adkins, who is scheduling the arrival of the 362 foot display. "I'm hoping that the generations who have never seen the wall will come out and see it, and I think it will be a good thing for the community."
Part of the event's proceeds will help buy all-star uniforms and Columbia County Hall of Fame plaques.
"We're trying to do an event that will raise some money for the community to pay for things that the regular budget won't cover," Adkins said.
All of the events, including the barbecue will be at the Columbia County Fairgrounds. The barbecue is one of several cook-offs throughout the country that sends the best cooking teams to the national Memphis in May Barbecue Competition.
"We will probably have 25 to 30 professional teams competing," Adkins said. "These people really get excited about it."
The event requires 92 judges that must be specially trained to savor the flavor of the marinated meats.
"This is the only contest like this on this side of Georgia so we're expecting teams from all over," Adkins said.
"We've already had confirmation from the top two teams in the Southeast," Waters said.
The advisory board is still looking for sponsors and volunteers for the event.
"The main focus of all of this is Veterans Day," Waters said. "We will have folks in from Fort Gordon, speakers, a ceremony, we're going to have everything that we can to honor our veterans."
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