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Are you a skilled baker? This year’s BLT Luncheon will host a peach bake-off

A local tradition is returning to Gainesville next week, one that embraces tomatoes, bacon, lettuce and a nice smear of Duke’s mayonnaise. 

From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 4, Peach State Bank & Trust will host the annual Jack McKibbon BLT Luncheon in its parking lot on 325 Washington St. in Gainesville

Susan Williams, organizer of the event and vice president of the bank, said people are welcome to swing by and eat a free BLT along with copious amounts of peach desserts, including Bruster’s ice cream made with peaches from Jaemor Farms. 

Williams said the BLT Luncheon originated over 25 years ago through the efforts of locals Jack McKibbon, Howard Whelchel, Lee Martin, Brent Danneman, Howard Page, Joe Wyant and George Seelke. She said the friends used to host the event at a warehouse near Browns Bridge Road in Gainesville. 

In 2016, McKibbon announced the end of the luncheons. However, in 2017, Peach State Bank & Trust stepped up to the plate to carry on the legacy. 

“We (the bank) just want to continue that tradition because it was so well attended for so many years,” Williams said.

The gathering was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic, making this year’s BLT Luncheon the 25th. 

In 2019, Williams said 600 people came out for the event which supplied 125 pounds of tomatoes, 173 pounds of bacon, 30 jars of Duke’s mayonnaise and 45 loaves of Sunbeam white bread. For this year’s luncheon, she expects a larger crowd. 

Instead of attendees making their own sandwiches, volunteers will serve the BLTs with gloves.

Jack McKibbon BLT Luncheon

What: Free BLT lunch and peach dessert bake-off

When: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 4

Where: Peach State Bank parking lot, 325 Washington St., Gainesville

How much: free

Bake-off entry deadline: 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 4

More info: 770-536-1100

As a new addition, the bank will hold a peach bake-off. Williams said people are encouraged to enter peach pies, cobblers and cakes. All submissions will be assessed by five judges on appearance, consistency, flavor and creativity. 

The judges include Superior Court Judge Andrew Fuller; Crevolyn Wiley, “Cooking with Crevolyn” author; Gary Black, Georgia’s agriculture commissioner; Jennie Gillespie, owner of The Baker’s Daughter in Gainesville; and Drew Echols, co-owner of Jaemor Farms. No immediate family members of the judges are allowed to enter the competition. 

The contest requires that everything is made from scratch — no store-bought crust. Each participant can only submit one entry.

The grand prize winner will receive a KitchenAid mixer, second place will get a Ninja blender and food processor and third place will be presented with a Cuisinart ice cream maker. 

The contest is open to bakers of all ages. The judging will take place at 11 a.m.

The deadline to enter is 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 4. Unrefrigerated items can be brought to the bank on Tuesday, Aug. 3. All entries must provide their recipe along with their name, address and phone number.

For more information, contact Peach State Bank & Trust at 770-536-1100.