“Smoke on the Water,” a new community event featuring a barbecue contest and canoe and kayak race, is set to be held in September at Rocky Fork Lake, according to Destiny Bryson, executive director of the Highland County Visitors Bureau.
Bryson, who announced the event at a Wednesday meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners, said the barbecue contest is sanctioned through the Kansas City Barbecue Society, and will feature as many as 35 professional barbecue teams competing for a shot at the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational.
Meanwhile, Bryson said, a canoe and kayak race is set to be held on the lake, and a military static display of vehicles and equipment is also in the works, as well as an obstacle course, games and a rock wall.
The event, which will be free to the public, is set to be held Sept. 23 at the overlook at Rocky Fork Lake, according to Bryson.
Bryson said the event is still in the planning stages, so input from the public is more than welcome.
“We’re looking for ideas,” she said. “We haven’t ruled anything out… It’s really exciting.”
Although registration has not yet opened, teams can apply to compete in the barbecue contest for a fee, according to Bryson.
Bryson said personnel from the U.S. Army recruiting station in Hillsboro will be involved, and proceeds from the event will most likely be donated to a veteran’s organization.
According to Bryson, planners have also reached out to local high schools and suggested students be bussed in for the event.
Bryson said the idea originally belonged to Rhonda Purdin, food director at the Highland County Senior Center, who had intended for the event to be held at the senior center, until Bryson and Board of Commissioners President Shane Wilkin suggested it might be expanded and held at the lake.
Bryson said more details will be forthcoming as planning progresses.
“Hopefully, it’ll be a huge event,” said commissioner Jeff Duncan.
The Highland County Visitors Bureau can be reached by calling 937-402-4347.
Also Wednesday, Duncan said maintenance on the Highland County Courthouse and the adjacent Highland County Prosecutor’s Office is ongoing.
According to Duncan, two maple trees have been rubbing up against the side of the building, and may have to be removed. Duncan said the commissioners received a bid from A1 Tree Care for the project.
Crews were also power hosing and re-sealing portions of the exterior of the prosecutor’s office on Wednesday, Duncan said.
Duncan also said Valerie Williams of Highland County Community Action will serve as the new administrator for Highland County Family and Children First.
Commissioners also held a public hearing on a Community Housing Improvement Program grant and passed routine financial resolutions.
Wilkin was absent.
The Highland County Board of Commissioners office can be reached by calling 937-393-1911.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.
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