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Taste award-winning barbecue at Apple Blossom Festival
Soap box race, car show and kids hamburger contest accompany annual event
A member of the J & B’s BBQ Team checks on the barbecue in the smoker during the annual Cornelia Apple Blossom BBQ Festival last year .

Cornelia Apple Blossom BBQ Festival

When: 5-9 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Apple Tree Alley and Clarkesville Street near the Depot in downtown Cornelia

Cost: Free; $10 to test barbecue

More info:

The Cornelia Apple Blossom BBQ Festival returns to downtown for its third year.

The festival takes place from 5-9 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Apple Tree Alley and Clarkesville Street near the Depot in downtown Cornelia.

At the center of the festival is a professional Kansas City Barbecue Society barbecue-sanctioned competition.

In addition, the Apple Blossom BBQ Festival is one of the first qualifiers for a new state of Georgia points race for Team of the Year with the Southern BBQ Challenge sponsoring the additional prize of more than $10,000. The contest has been proclaimed a state championship by Gov. Nathan Deal, meaning the winner will qualify for the World Series of BBQ-The American Royal Invitational Contest in the fall in St. Louis and the Jack Daniels Invitational Competition in October.

For 2014, almost 50 professional and amateur teams will compete for $10,000. Professional teams will turn in entries in the four standard KCBS categories including chicken, ribs, pork and brisket for judging. The amateur contest will only compete in two categories: chicken and ribs.

A Kid’s Q allows children ages 6-17 to compete in the best hamburger recipe.

Besides the contests, activities will keep visitors busy. Friday night features the first Friday Night Flicks free movie starting at dusk in the depot parking lot. On Saturday, children can play in bounce houses and participate in other activities.

Entertainment Saturday will showcase local bluegrass and country performers with a special appearance from Joe Hall at 3 p.m. on the depot stage.

The Apple Car Show is part of this event starting at 10 a.m. Saturday.

CSS Innovations is bringing back the local soap box derby race on Clarkesville Street. Cars and drivers of all ages will race at 11 a.m. Saturday from Chattahoochee to Stovall Alley.

For more information, visit

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