COVINGTON - The rain held off, giving over to mostly sunny skies for last weekend's Sherman's Last Burning Fall Festival and Barbecue Cook-Off held at Legion Field. The fourth annual event brought in some 3,500 to 4,000 visitors and by all accounts has been proclaimed yet another fundraising success by the Covington Lions Club.
"Many thanks to our wonderful sponsors who had confidence in our efforts to put together two days of fellowship, fun and good food," said Lions Club member and festival organizer Doreen Stallworth. "Our special thanks to our top sponsors, ACS air conditioning, Ecker Construction, Mayfield ACE Hardware, Primo Grills and United Bank. We want to especially thank our primary media, the Rockdale/Newton Citizen, for their dedication and expertise these past four years."
Stallworth said the Friday night Junior Idol contest and the sponsors; Iron Chef event turned out to be a fun way to kick off the two-day event.
Of the 17 contestants, Raven Bro of Dalton won first place in the Junior Idol event, earning a four-hour recording session with 21st Century Productions; Brooke Taylor of Covington placed second; Jordan Rager of Loganville and Tamara Gordon of Conyers tied for third-place honors; and Holly Johnson of Bethlehem placed fourth.
The sponsors' Iron Chef competition top honor went to Mayfield ACE Hardware with Farm Bureau coming in second and Bradley's Bar-B-Que placing third.
Saturday's events included the BBQ Cook-Off, Backyard BBQ competition, the Covington Idol and Battle of the Bands.
Twenty-five cooks were vying for an entry into the Jack Daniel's National BBQ Competition, all participating in the brisket, chicken, pork and rib categories.
"Fifty-two cash prizes, two Primo Grills and chopping block awards were given out," Stallworth said.
The Wicked Que team of Watkinsville was named Grand Champions and Team Bobby-Q won the Reserve Champion title.
Georgia Boys took top honors in the Backyard BBQ Contest, followed by C&C BBQ Factory in second place and Food Sales East - Ga. in third place.
Of the 18 contestants in the Covington Idol contest, five took top honors: first place, Bill Callas of Conyers; second place, Tim Jamerson of Calhoun, Tenn.; third place Beverly Mize of Oxford; fourth place Melvin Cooksey of Oxford; and fifth place Cheryl Bozich of Conyers.
Idol judges were Barbara Dockett, Cody Marshall, Don Dimsdale and Nancy Downes, mother of American Idol Bo Bice.
The four entries into the Battle of the Bands competition resulted in the following ranking: first place, Southern Mischief; second place, Apostles of Blue Grass; third place, Jessie Brock; and fourth place, Alcovy River Band.
"Lisa Asbury with Sweet Southern Entertainment from Dalton played a major role as she and her band not only provided sound for the weekend, but her band also performed," Stallworth said.
Other entertainment included the Newton Hayriders of Covington, which performed several square dance numbers and opened festivities Friday. The Miss Hazzard Pageant, the Southeastern Reptile rescue show, the Oxford Lions free eye exam, "ToeJam" Cloggers of Conyers, arts and craft vendors, a food court and a BBQ vendor at the open air pavilion rounded out the event.