Harlem officials intend to use barbecue this weekend to entice census-takers.
The Harlem Complete Count Committee for the 2010 Census will hold a barbecue cook-off and barbecue sauce contest Saturday in the field next to Harlem United Methodist Church.
Event organizer Jerry Campbell said people who think they have a great barbecue recipe or great sauce should come show it off and compete for cash prizes.
"They need to be here," said Campbell, the city's Planning and Zoning officer and U.S. Census liaison for the city.
"Show us just how good they are."
The event, which will feature live entertainment from area bands St. Bandit and Rize of Rebellion, intends to spread the word about the importance of being counted in the census. Sample 10-question census forms will be on site.
"It is to let (residents) know the census is coming and how important it is to the city," Campbell said.
Federal, state and local 1-cent sales tax funds are distributed based on census figures. Officials say they believe Harlem's population was greatly under-counted in the 2000 census, costing the city funding.
"We didn't get our fair share," Campbell said.
Barbecue cooking teams can start cooking at 7 a.m. Preseasoning, marinating or injecting is allowed, but the meat must be cooked on site, Campbell said.
Sauce entries can be made in advance and must include at least a pint of the sauce.
The advanced entry fee is $25 for the barbecue contest and $35 the day of the contest. It costs $10 for each sauce entry.
Cash awards include a $100 first-place prize and a $25 King of Sauce prize.
The city's semi-annual Trash to Treasures market also will be held Saturday at the field. Booths are free, and those wishing to sell yard sale-type items can set up Saturday morning.
For information or entry forms, visit Harlem City Hall on North Louisville Road, call (706) 556-0043, or visit www.harlemga.org.
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