2011 Blue Ridge Blues & BBQ Festival Huge Hit in Blue Ridge

Special thanks to YOU... The Fans, Volunteers, City of Blue Ridge, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce & The Humane Society of Blue Ridge.

Click here to see more pictures - Justin Rush Photography

September 10th, 2011 was an exciting day as several thousand locals and tourists flocked to Downtown Blue Ridge, Georgia for the first annual Blue Ridge Blues & BBQ Festival.  The sun was shining, the temperature was mild, and the smell BBQ filled the air.

The event was hosted by the Blue Ridge Lodging Association, and was run like a well-oiled machine thanks to Beverly Seckinger of Seckinger Productions and Sue Ann Morgan, president of ideaLand. Gate entry was quick and efficient, volunteers were helpful, and there were plenty of bathrooms and trash receptacles on the festival grounds.

Vendors were positioned along East Main Street and West Main Street, and featured Blue Ridge’s finest foods and products.

“Have you tried the alligator ribs yet?” asked one enthused festival attendee in between sips of Sweetwater beer. “I just had a fish taco too, and it was amazing. You’ve got to stop by Blue Orleans’ spot and some of the other food tents and check out the food.”

Such was the sentiment of all those who came to the North Georgia mountains for the event. With everything from brisket sliders courtesy of Harvest on Main to delectable fried pies from Mercier Orchards, it was hard to save room for the award-winning BBQ from Sam’s BBQ-1 and the plethora of other BBQ vendors. Enthusiasts were abound, as wait times for the ‘cue ran up to 20 minutes.

But the food wasn’t the only reason that so many came out to partake in the festivities. One couldn’t forget the authentic, soul-soothing Blues provided by Frankie’s Blues Mission, Blacktop Blues Band and The King Bees who played throughout the day, creating an almost palpable character and flavor that added to everyone’s enjoyment.

“I just can’t wait for Francine Reed to take the stage,” said Professor Phil Unger from Reinhardt University. “She’s a really big deal in the Blues community. I was at another BBQ event on Labor Day, and even there they mentioned her coming to Blue Ridge today.”

As the sun went down and night time came, the moon shone brightly on those that gathered and danced to the soulful styling of the Blues legend. It was the perfect scene to end a great day.

As the people of our great nation remember those who lost their lives in the tragic attacks on September 11, 2001 we are reminded that it is events like the Blue Ridge Blues and BBQ festival that truly pay homage to our American culture. It is proof that the American spirit lives on defiantly in the face of adversity and threat. Through distinctly American food and song, that spirit was honored as all who came out gathered together as one, celebrating those things that truly define the Southeast and American culture as a whole.

Add your thoughts and comments here or on the official Downtown Blue Ridge Blues and BBQ facebook page