Slow cookers converge for Franklin BBQ festival

The Mountain High BBQ & Music Festival will be held at the Macon County fairgrounds Aug. 7-8.

Gates open at noon on Friday. Barbecue cook teams from all over the United States will be cooking and competing to be crowned Grand Champion, earning a NC State Championship at this Kansas City BBQ Society (KCBS) sanctioned festival.

The event boasts 48 professional cook teams, 12 backyard teams, over 50 craft and retail booths, live entertainment, barbecue and festival foods, an inflatable kids’ play area, a “Tastin’ Tent” and an opportunity to hear great grilling tips from the KCBS tour team.

Only 200 tickets to the Tastin’ Tent are available. Teams will submit samples of their barbecue work for audience judging in two seatings on Saturday, one at 2 p.m. and one at 3 p.m.

Live music will begin at 12:15 p.m. Friday and close out with the Rye Holler Boys who take the stage at 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, music starts at 10:15 a.m. and ends with Eric Haggart just before the awards ceremony at 5 p.m.

A shuttle bus will run both days from the Franklin High School parking lot to the fairgrounds. Shuttle times are 1 to 7 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Admission for adults is $5, children 12 and under admitted free.

In addition, festival organizers have partnered with The Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts to present Shenandoah in concert Friday night at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale at the Franklin Chamber of Commerce for only $10 with each paid barbecue festival admission.

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