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AV Bar-B-Que Battle returning this weekend
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AV Bar-B-Que Battle returning this weekend


The Eighth Annual Arcadia Valley Bar-B-Que Battle returns Friday and Saturday to the Iron County Courthouse grounds in Ironton with more competitors and live music than ever before.

Team sign-up for the St. Louis BBQ Society event ended last week. There are reportedly more than 40 teams signed up for the weekend to compete in the following categories: chicken, pork ribs, pork, and beef brisket

The teams will be competing for trophies and $7,500 in cash payouts for the grand and reserve champions. Along with the trophy and cash prize, the grand champion will receive a Super Bowl-sized ring and an invitation to the American Royal in Kansas City.

Then there's the music.

As always, a lot of people will be coming to the "Battle" to listen to free music from the great bands the event brings to the stage each year. Mark “Memphis” Earnest and Nathan Williams were in charge of booking the musicians for the weekend.

"We've got a great lineup this year and we've kept it pretty local,” he said. "Friday night, starting at 7 p.m., we've got Hickory Smoke, which features Nick Browers and a couple of his family members. These guys are great musicians and they are local. They're going to put on a great show with a lot of southern rock.

"My band, Memphis and the Backsliders, will take the stage at 9 p.m. We feature local musicians from Farmington and St. Louis. You're going to hear everything from David Bowie to Pearl Jam — a great lineup of music from the '70s, '80s and '90s.

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"On Saturday, starting at 1:30, we've got the local favorite, Tony Harbison and The Old Dawgs. Tony has been a local favorite for years. People love his music. He's always been good to the community, so we're glad to have him. He's going to start the day off with some old country music.

Earnest said the Saturday afternoon lineup will be featuring a surprise band.

"Stone Gill, who is one of the great track stars at Arcadia Valley, has a band and they are going to be performing with some of the good music that he has written. He's just a great musician and his band consists of all students. They're going to take the stage somewhere around 4:30 and play some music for us.

"At 6:30, we've got a band from Hillsboro called Group Therapy. Tim Cossey is the bass player. Tim has played in local bands — as a matter of fact we recently played with Tim Harbison. He's been the bass player in a couple of bands. He's played bass in a couple of my bands, so he's very familiar with the area and well-liked. They're going to put on a great show for us."

The group Fault Line takes the stage at 9 p.m. Saturday.

"They're from Cape Girardeau," Earnest said. "It consists of a couple of great female singers. You're going to hear a great dance lineup from these guys. They play at the casinos down south in the Bootheel. They're also going to be putting on a great show that everyone is going to enjoy."

As in the past, there will be a beer garden on site, but it will be enclosed to make sure the entire event is family friendly in nature. In addition, there will be inflatables and other activities for children who attend the event with their parents.

About 50 vendors will be on hand selling arts and crafts, T-shirts, face painting, along with many other items and services. There will also be food vendors on the grounds serving a wide array of items ranging from ice cream and corn dogs to, of course, barbecue.

Sponsors for the event include Victorian Sales; Loners Concrete and Construction; Mark and Suzi Williams; Auto Plaza Group; Fresh and Clean Restrooms; Bob Lourwood and Pam Leach; Show-Me Shaved Ice; Heritage Hills Assisted Living Facility and Hillside Living Center; Iron Mule Pizza Pub Grill; Fisher Furniture; Sam’s Service Center; First State Community Bank; Brad Wooten Auto Body; Celebrations Awards & Recognition Gallery; Stricklin Waste Disposal, LLC; Music Makers; Law Offices of Brian Parker; Adam’s Heating and Cooling; Parkland Pharmacy; AAA Zoellner Materials, Inc.; Ozarks Federal; Dragon Fly-In; D&M Storage; Nate Dawg Enterprises; Fisher Auto Parts; Bryson’s Funeral Home; Buckley Financial; Elders Construction; Arcadia Sporting Goods; Spurs ‘n Furs Taxidermy; Diamonds and More Jewelers; Shelter Insurance; Baylee Jo’s BBQ; Politte Ready Mix; Casey’s; Lowe’s of Farmington; Kevin Perry; Fort Davidson Café; Strothmann Livestock; Sassy the Mule; Fronabarger Concreters, Inc.; Arnold Masonry; Sugarfire Smokehouse; Riverbank Construction; Gifford Lumber Co. of Farmington; Brockmiller construction; Quality Transportation Services, Inc.; Ronnie Gibbs Insurance, LLC; Farmington Dental Care; RH Masonry; Iron Co. Farm Bureau; Tony Harbison Tree Service; Lady Queen; Parski; and Ameren Missouri.

Kevin R. Jenkins is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-756-8927 or


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