Political rally featured during new festival

Published 7:00 pm Thursday, March 3, 2011

Politicians and pork ribs are best prepared over an open flameand served together.

Local voters will have the opportunity to digest both this spring,when the Lincoln County Volunteer Fire Association hosts itsinaugural Hog Wild Barbeque Cook Off and Family Festival, anall-day event that will feature food, vendors and speeches by stateand local candidates seeking office in 2011. Planning for the eventis still in its early stages, with organizers seeking sponsors andparticipants for an old-style downtown festival.

“We’re going to have an old flea market-type event with booths andvendors, and we’re expecting several candidates from the governor’srace all the way down,” said Lincoln County Civil Defense DirectorClifford Galey. “What we envision is a service to all the people inan election year.”

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The rally is scheduled for Saturday, May 14, in the downtownparking lot. The festival will begin at 8 a.m., with politicalspeaking planned to start around 1 p.m. Admission is free.

Any local, district or statewide candidates interested in making anappearance at the rally may register by calling Loyd Star VolunteerFire Department Chief Mark Porter at 601-757-1772 or Hog Chain VFDPresident Chris Reid at 601-757-6326.

There is no fee to speak at the rally, though candidates will beasked to make a donation to the fire association. The entire eventis, of course, a fundraiser for the county’s eight volunteer firedepartments and the Lincoln County Fire Service Honor Guard.

“We always need money, especially with fuel costs going up,” Galeysaid. “And it probably costs us $10,000 to outfit one firefighter.All the proceeds we raise will go toward equipping and improvingthe fire departments, which will improve their class rating, whichwill in turn lower home insurance costs.”

The fire association is also seeking sponsors for the festival.Sponsors will be afforded recognition in upcoming advertising forthe event and displayed at the festival.

Those who give more than $1,000 will be classified as platinumsponsors and also be given a booth space. Giving $500 or more earnsa gold sponsor rating, $251 or more a silver rating and $101 ormore a bronze rating. Anyone who gives $100 or less will beclassified a patron.

Barbeque cooks are also encouraged to participate in the cook-offfor cash prizes. An entry fee of $50 each will be levied onchicken, pork ribs and brisket, and those who wish to cook allthree may enter for $125. Prices will increase to $100 per meat and$175 overall after April 22.

A panel will judge the cooking, and first- and second-placefinishers will win cash prizes. The winner of the overall People’sChoice Award will also win a cash prize.

For more information on candidate speaking, the cook-off, boothrental or the festival in general, interested people may callPorter or Reid.