Euharlee prepares for Covered Bridge ’Que Festival
by Marie Nesmith
Jun 03, 2014 | 1353 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With more than 30 teams slated to compete, the Euharlee Covered Bridge ’Que Festival will return Friday and Saturday to Frankie Harris Park in downtown Euharlee. While the majority of barbecuers hail from Georgia, the contest will feature competitors from across the Southeast.

According to www.euharlee.com, “Covered Bridge ’Que will be sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society, the world’s largest competition cooking organization. This State Championship event will also be a qualifier for the Georgia BBQ Championship and the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational. Teams from all across the state will bring their competition smoking rigs to Frankie Harris Park to battle for points, bragging rights and a share of the $7,500 prize purse.”

To be presented by the city of Euharlee, the offering will begin Friday with the Eve of the ’Que Concert, featuring music from Alex Guthrie from 7 to 10 p.m. Patrons also will be able to obtain a sneak peek of professional teams preparing for the competition before the contest gets underway on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“This is a big event for the city of Euharlee,” Event Coordinator Deanna Berry said. “It is the only professional barbecue competition in Bartow County. This is one of the state championship tournaments and it is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society. So the fact that it happens right there in Euharlee and then they have all of the historic sites around there, it’s just a big deal for them. They’ve been doing a lot recently with the city, [such as the] branding of the city and they had the new Joe Cowan Park [open], so I think it just brings it all together for them and really brings the public’s eye onto Euharlee and all the great things they’re doing.

“I think that the barbecue competition is going to bring the public out because they want to see those professional teams that they’ve seen on television competing, but it also has a full festival that goes on with it. So you’re going to have 30 or 40 arts and craft vendors and food vendors and then you have the children’s activities that are provided by Coosa Valley Credit Union. ... There’s door prizes all day long. There’s live entertainment the entire day. There’s, I think, four or five different bands that are scheduled to play throughout the day and those are mostly local acts that are under the After Dark Studio label.”

While the overall event does not require an admission fee, entrance to the People’s Choice tasting tent will be $10 per ticket. Along with sampling the competitors’ food, ticket-holders also will be able to vote in the People’s Choice contest.

“It’s a very big deal to have a KCBS contest in our county and then for the city of Euharlee to have this, it’s wonderful to get that exposure,” said Johnny Mitchell, owner of Johnny Mitchell’s Smokehouse in Euharlee, which is one of the event’s sponsors. “... [The People’s Choice competition] is a separate part of the contest [where people will] ... get to sample many of the different barbecues from the competitors.

“It’s usually a lot higher end pieces of meat. ... So it’s an opportunity to see many different styles from ... rub meat, smoked, some with sauces, some with glazes. It’s a great variety of different styles. It will all be pork butt that will be sampled to the public, but it’s amazing how different those taste.”

Further details about the Covered Bridge ’Que can be obtained by visiting www.euharlee.com or www.facebook.com/coveredbridgeque or calling Euharlee City Hall at 770-386-1452.