Barbecue, live music and axe-throwing at the Jefferson County BBQ Fest

Ashley Hunter
ECB Publishing, Inc.

Live music poured from the lot on North Cherry Street, in Monticello, as people strolled over to the grassy lot on Saturday, Nov. 9 for an evening of axe-throwing, BBQ tasting, pig chasing and good, old-fashioned community fun. Hosted by the Monticello-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, the Fifth Annual Jefferson BBQ Fest was held on Saturday night, from 4 to ­­7 p.m.
The evening kicked off with a car show and live music provided by Ozell Road, a country and classic rock band that hails from South Georgia.
The musicians crooned out old favorites and lively tunes while the festival's guests strolled in and surveyed the spread of visiting BBQ pitmasters.
The Jefferson County festival hosted a Florida BBQ Association (FBA) sanctioned contest, which meant that BBQ chefs – known as pitmasters – traveled to the event in order to place their BBQ into the competition.
While several big names in the FBA engaged in a BBQ battle, there was plenty of fierce competition for locals to engage in as well.
The Monticello Rotary Club once more hosted their Corn Hole Tournament, with the Dennis Curry, Sr., and Dennis Curry, Jr., duo taking the first place title at the game's tournament; the team that placed second was Isabella Gray and Jarid Roland.
A new competition also caught the attention of the festival goers, as Tomahawks 51, a family-owned axe-throwing venue, set up a mobile axe-throwing booth at the festival. For only a few dollars, anyone who was interested in trying their hand at the sport could throw axes at the bullseye painted on a wood target.
The champion axman was Matt Foy, who scored 21 points during the axe-throwing tournament.
This year, the Monticello-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce also hosted a chili cook-off, with local chefs stewing up their family's chili recipe and submitting a pot into the contest; this year's winner was Libby McNeill, as her pot of chili quickly won over the judges.
As the sky began to darken and the event drew to a close, kids were invited to head towards the festival's pig pen and try their hand at catching a greased pig.
With the pigs supplied by local farmer, Hines Boyd, the wily pigs were greased and easily evaded capture – but three young folks, Graham Coleman, Austin Milem and Levi Carroll, managed to succeed and be awarded as this year's greased-pig-chase champions.
As the event drew to an end, people continued to mingle on the grassy festival lawn, enjoying BBQ, listening to live music and enjoying the company of their family, friends and neighbors.