It’s not just about the pork

The 17th annual Boss Hog Cook-off takes place this year May 12-13.

Although the festival is typically all about the barbeque, Friday at 6:30 p.m. is about chicken.

Knight’s Butchering is sponsoring this year’s event and providing each team with 10 pounds of wings. Attendees of the festival are invited to walk around sampling some of the tastiest wings the barbeque competitors can concoct, while they last. The barbeque teams who are participating display “Got wings” balloons, signaling wing connoisseurs to stop by. They pop the balloons when they run out of wings. Unlike the barbeque competition, there are no rules about how the chicken wings are displayed.

“Some of them get really fancy and have all the sauces for them,” said Co-organizer Nan Palmer Lynch. “It’s their chance to get real creative.”

The people who judge the chicken wings are not the same people who judge the barbeque on Saturday. High dollar sponsors who donate $500 or more to the festival earn the right to judge.

“It’s really super fun,” Nan said of the event that has become so popular that she has to ask the teams if they are willing to cook extra wings because sponsorship is rising.

This year, Friday night will also be “the night of the Drews.” Both Drew Parker and Drew Green will be performing. Parker, a Covington Georgia native, signed a publishing deal with RiverHouse/Warner Chappell in September of 2017. He is a co-writer on Luke Combs’ debut platinum record “This One’s For You”, Jake Owens’ single “Homemade” and Luke Combs’ “1,2 Many.”

Florida Georgia Line recorded a song Green penned with Hunter Phelps and Michael Hardy for their fourth studio album, “Can’t Say I Ain’t Country.”

Those who love the pork aspect of the event won’t be disappointed this year either. The People’s Choice Competition involves buying a ticket for $15 that allows attendees to sample barbeque from all of the cook-off competitors. People can then vote for their three favorite hometown and three out-of-town teams.

“We have 35 teams participating this year, which is unheard of,” said co-organizer Lindsey Beazley Keller. “It’s normally 22 and 26 is the most we have ever had.”

The event is limited to 250 tickets that are known to sell out fast.

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