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The Dalton BBQ, Blues, and Bluegrass Festival

Dalton, Georgia, was founded in 1851 as an important railroad depot that helped to grow the Western and Atlantic Railroad. Today, it’s a family friendly destination with a great selection of community events and ample historical sites. The Carpet Capital of the World features a beautiful downtown area complete with restaurants, shops, and examples of Antebellum architecture. All history buffs should make a point to visit Dalton Freight Depot & Visitors Center -- it’s the perfect location to begin a tour of the area's historical sites.  


The Dalton BBQ, Blues, and Bluegrass Festival is entering its first year, and will take place August 26-27, at the North Georgia Agricultural Fairgrounds. Visitors will encounter a family friendly atmosphere that combines a BBQ competition and a blues concert. The BBQ competition will take a variety of BBQ teams from the community and area, and judges will use a double blind system to determine who has the best BBQ creations. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample the BBQ and vote for the local favorite People's Choice Award, as well as food from a variety of vendors. Local bands representing a variety of genres will perform throughout the event, and fun lawn games will be available for everyone to enjoy. A Kids Zone will offer a variety of games and activities for all ages, and the vendor marketplace will showcase a variety of handmade items made by local suppliers. A portion of the event’s proceeds will go to the local Boys and Girls Club, which helps children develop life skills and connections. We got the chance to interview Harold Wilkins, a representative of the event, to learn more about his music and BBQ blowout.


RAL: Tell me a bit about the event.

HW: This will be the first installation of this event, but we are planning on making this an annual occurrence. We have generated a substantial following and showing of support for this event, and we expect to draw between 5,000-7,000 participants.


RAL: What demographic does your event attract?

HW: The demographics from this event will range from all ages, and from those who are single, couples, or groups. We do consider this a "family affair," meaning all are welcome.


RAL: What makes this event unique?

HW: An event like this has never taken place in the community. We'll feature contests, games, live music, vendors, and exhibitors. Plus, our BBQ competition gives the community the opportunity to develop and support "cook teams." All in all, this will be a great event to attend!


RAL: Take me through the activities of a day at the event.

HW: What you can expect as an attendee is a flow of activities including several vendors to choose from including food, arts and crafts, games, and exhibitions by local and far away talent. We have plenty of live music from local bands, and some well-known locals will make announcements. There will also be a "Kidz Zone" which will have bouncies, a petting zoo, and family fun such as The Human Hamster Ball.


RAL: What will attendees find for dining options.

HW: As far as dining there will be plenty of food vendors, as well as the opportunity to participate in the People's Choice BBQ Competition.


RAL: Tell me about the atmosphere.

HW: The environment will be family friendly, and the event is located at a well-known location in Dalton. There will be plenty of parking, and the area is safe and secure.


RAL: What’s the local lodging situation like?

HW: We have secured special rates with La Quinta Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, and Days Inn, all located in Dalton, GA, anyone needing lodging just need to mention the festival to secure those rates.


RAL: What does the event mean to the community?

HW: The event is a show of support and a reason to be proud of the community. There will be a press release before the event which will promote local businesses, and they will have a chance to be seen and engage the community, as well as promote themselves.


RAL: Does the support any particular causes in the community?

HW: The event will give some of the proceeds to the local Boys and Girls Club. In the future, we will switch proceeds to help other causes per event.


RAL: Why should people come?

HW: People should come to our event because there will be something for everyone including various genres of music, dancing, games, concert, vendors, competitions, and an awesome Family Environment. Events such as these will stimulate the economy, bring community bonding, and a lifetime of memories for all involved!

For more information about the Dalton BBQ, Blues, and Bluegrass Festival, please visit the event website.