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Shermans Last Burning
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WHAT: Sherman’s Last Burning fall festival and barbecue cookoff

WHAT’S THERE: Entertainment, food, takeout barbecue plates, arts and crafters, professional barbecue cookoff, reptile rescue show, Miss Hazzard Beauty Pageant, talent show

BENEFITS: The Miracle League of Newton County Miracle Field project

WHEN: 3-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: American Legion Fairgrounds on Mill Street past Newton Drive

LEARN MORE: Call (770) 639-7089,

Expect heaping helpings of barbecue and fun on Friday and Saturday at the Lions Club’s annual Sherman’s Last Burning fall festival and barbecue cookoff at the American Legion Fairgrounds on Mill Street.

The event features a professional barbecue cookoff with 25 teams, according to Doreen Stallworth, an event organizer.

The club will have pulled pork plates and half-rack rib plates available for sale to eat-in or to go, too.

There’s also 30-40 arts and crafts exhibitors, food vendors, activities for children, a Miss Hazzard beauty pageant and music entertainment.

The festival is a benefit for The Miracle League of Newton County’s Miracle Field project.

The kids corner features include pony rides, a petting zoo and jumping inflatables, according to Stallworth.

Pulled pork plates cost $8 and rib plates are $10. Sides include slaw, Brunswick stew and iced tea. Other food available at the festival ranges from crepes to chicken fingers.

Musicians will perform Gospel, country and bluegrass tunes from 3 to 9 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

The Miss Hazzard Pageant will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, with a sign-in at 10 a.m. It’s open to anyone up to age 18. Just dress country and enjoy yourself, according to organizers.

A Miracle League ceremony begins at 2 p.m. Saturday.

About 4,000 attended last year’s event. Admission is $3, but there’s no charge for children younger than 12. With advance purchase of barbecue tickets, you can drive to the gate for pickup. If you enter the grounds, you pay the admission fee.

The festival is in its sixth year and takes its name from folklore, a tale of how General Sherman following the burning of Atlanta during the Civil War spared Covington of a similar fate because it was the hometown of a classmate at West Point.

It takes a lot of effort to stage a community event with volunteers.

"We started Sunday after church," Stallworth said.