According to Central City Tourism Director, Carmel Sheppard Rich, it takes a huge amount of hard work by a large number of city employees and volunteers to make this event run smoothly.
"Those involved with the various committees do a year's worth of planning," Rich told SurfKy News. "During the last four months before the festival, everyone shifts into high gear. There are a lot of dedicated people working together to make this weekend one to remember. This year is extra special because all proceeds from the event will go toward the city's Lu-Ray Park project. We hope to be having the festival at the new part next year. This is our hope."
Central City Mayor Barry Shaver announced plans back in April for the city's new Lu-Ray Park, complete with a large amphitheater for events such as this weekend's Rods N Ribs festival. Rich said that response to the festival is growing each year.
The combination of competition between numerous barbecue master, along with well over a hundred classic cars and hot rods on the city's famous strip that covers Second and Broad Streets, and landing country supergroup Confederate Railroad, all seem to have generated an increased excitement from inside the county and beyond.
"We have gotten calls this week from Georgia about the festival," Rich said.
"Confederate Railroad has a very loyal fan base and many have already booked rooms for this weekend's fun. There was another tourist from North Carolina calling ahead to make sure the event is still a 'go'. We are happy to say 'yes'. The musicians will perform rain or shine. In case of bad weather we will move the concert to the Central City Convention Center."
Barbecue competition will include chicken, pork and ribs, with competitors from throughout Muhlenberg and surrounding counties. There will also be a 5K and Half K marathon Saturday morning at the Central City Convention Center. Pre-registration forms are available for the marathons by calling (270) 757-1723.
According to Tammy Piper, manager of the Central City Fitness and Convention Center, the marathon course is mostly bypass and paved trails. The Half Marathon course has two small hills and one steep but short hill. The 5K is all flat paved trails.
A corn hole tournament is set for 1 p.m. in downtown Central City with practice beginning at 12 p.m. The traditional Friday night cruise-in will feature hot rods and classic cars throughout the night.
Central City Chief of Police Brent Roberson told SurfKY News that the CCPD will be out in force to assure adequate crowd control.
"Several extra officers will be on duty to make sure it all runs smooth," Roberson said. "The only street closings will be Broad Street from Second Street to Center Street. Parking will be available behind First National Bank on Broad Street. There is also parking on all the streets near the city building parking lot, north of the Purple Onion back toward the city building."
Roberson had a reminder for those coming from out of town that alcohol is not allowed.
"We want to remind everyone that there are no alcoholic beverages allowed other than inside the restaurants in the downtown area that serve them," Roberson said.
"We will be monitoring that. We want people to have a good time, but we don't want it to get out of hand. We'll be watching for that closely."
The music for Saturday's festival includes Headed South 2 p.m., Judge Brian Wiggins 4 p.m., Copper Road 6 p.m. and headliners Confederate Railroad 7:30 p.m.For information of entering the barbecue competition call (270) 754-2345. For vending space rates and general information on the festival call (270) 754-9603. For 5K and a Half Marathon information call (270) 757-1723.
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