Classic City BBQ Festival to serve up good food and fun Aug. 14-15 in downtown Athens


ATHENS, Ga. - The third annual Classic City BBQ Festival will heat up Aug. 14-15 at The Classic Center in downtown Athens.

Tickets are on sale now for the family-friendly festival, which last year attracted more than 2,500 people. The event will feature three barbecue contests, local barbecue restaurant vendors, an outdoor music stage, classic car show, tailgate tradeshow, kid zone and more.

The festival is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society and is an official Georgia BBQ Championship 2015 Tour Event.

Proceeds from the event will benefit The Classic Center Cultural Foundation, which supports the performing, visual and culinary arts of Athens.

Several ticket options are available for this year's festival. The "‘Cue" admission is $10 and includes six samples of BBQ and a vote in the People's Choice contest. The "Brew" admission ticket is $20 and includes 10 regional craft beer samples and a commemorative tasting glass.

Attendees that want the full festival experience are encouraged to purchase the "Whole Hog" ticket for $25 and enjoy all that comes with both the "Cue" and "Brew" admissions. "Piglet" admission tickets can be purchased at festival entry for children 10 years of age and younger.

Friday's Events

Robert Randolph and the Family Band will perform in The Classic Center Theatre at 8 p.m., with special guests, The Georgia Flood. A pre-show barbecue will take place from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. in front of the Theatre. Entry is free, and concessions will be available for purchase.

A "Music and BBQ VIP Experience" package is available for those who plan to attend the Robert Randolph and the Family Band concert on Friday night, as well as the full festival on Saturday. For $75, ticketholders will receive concert tickets in the Orchestra section of The Classic Center Theatre, a special backstage experience prior to the Robert Randolph and the Family Band concert, a BBQ plate and soft drink at the pre-show barbecue, a festival goodie bag, an exclusive professional BBQ team behind-the-scenes-tour, as well as all of the benefits of the "Whole Hog" admission ticket.

Saturday's Events

On Saturday, the action begins at 11 a.m. Forty professional cook teams will be lined up along Foundry Street cooking pulled pork, chicken, pork ribs and beef brisket and all vying for a $10,000 total prize purse.

There will also be 15 teams entered for the festival's Backyard Contest squaring off to win a $1,000 total prize purse for the best chicken and pork ribs.

All day during the festival, live music will be performed on the outdoor music stage. Ty Manning and Todd White will perform at 11 a.m., Weekend Getaway will perform at 12:30 p.m. and Julie Holmes will take the stage at 3 p.m.

Festivalgoers will be able to purchase food from the following food vendors: Dancing Bear Ice Cream, Buffalo's Café, Saucehouse BBQ, Dawg Gone Good BBQ, Southpaw BBQ, Kevin's Kettle Korn, Southern Girl Funnel Cakes, Lil Ice Cream Dude and Cabin Creek BBQ.

From 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the Grand Hall, the Tailgate Tradeshow will feature some 20 vendors selling vehicles, grills, clothing and more. The Classic Car Show in the Grand Hall will showcase more than two dozen classic cars.

Children can enjoy a bouncy house, face painting, laser tag and more in the festival's kid zone.

At 2 p.m., four teams will square off in the Restaurant Iron-Chef Style Competition along Foundry Street. A $1,000 prize purse and coveted trophy will be given out to the winners. The following restaurants will compete: The Place, George's Lowcountry Table, Athens Tech Culinary Program, and The National.

New to this year's festival, the Tailgate Tradeshow area will feature a craft beer tasting, available with all ticket options except "‘Cue" and "Piglet." Attendees will also get to sample their choice of six pulled pork entries cooked by the professional and backyard teams, while supplies last. Each ticket also buys a vote to help crown the winner of the People's Choice Award. BBQ samples are included with each admission option, with the exception of the "Brew" ticket.

Festival attendees will also have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win a Big Green Egg, among other prizes. All proceeds from the raffle benefit The Classic Center Cultural Foundation.

Winners of the Professional and Backyard competitions will be announced at 4:30 p.m. in the Atrium.

Visit or call 706-357-4444 for more information or to purchase tickets. For more information on The Classic Center Cultural Foundation, visit


Located in Athens, Georgia, The Classic Center is a multi-use conference center, 2,100 seat theatre, 2,000-seat Arena and outdoor covered pavilion hosting conventions, conferences, meetings, weddings, concerts, sporting tournaments and special events for up to 6,000 people.



Elizabeth Austin
Marketing Manager | The Classic Center
300 N. Thomas Street | Athens, GA 30601
706.357.4435 p | 706.548.0870 f