More events added to Sept. 23 ‘Smokin’ in the Hills’ at Rocky Fork Lake

The Times-Gazette

Organizers of the upcoming “Smokin’ in the Hills” barbeque event at Rocky Fork Lake said Friday that plans are being finalized and new attractions being added for the Sept. 23 affair.

The Visitors Bureau of Highland County said in a press release that the new event, which is the first annual Ohio State Championship, Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned cookoff to be held at Rocky Fork Lake at the East End Overlook area, will include a number of displays and side attractions.

“As we all know, cooking meat in a smoker takes many hours of patience with very little interaction with the precious meat at play,” the release stated. “Event-goers to the cookoff are welcome to walk around and observe the teams as they prepare their award winning meats, but after your tour of the teams, be sure to allow time to explore the Military Exhibition that will be on display throughout the day. “

The Military Exhibition will include:

• The Eyes of Freedom: Lima Company Memorial transported by the events Signature Sponsor R+L Carriers.

• Army military vehicles for static display, children activities including camo face paint, corn hole, and football toss.

• Marines Corp branded vehicle, training equipment, and a marksmanship trailer.

• Air Force branded vehicle, equipped with video gaming and a special operations display.

• Highland County Historical Society and the Greenfield Historical Society historic military collections.

• A private collection of Vietnam War era tanker and base camp display.

Requests to the Navy and Coast Guard for displays are still pending.

“We are still working on coordinating a helicopter landing and possible fly overs,” said Destiny Bryson, executive director for the Highland County Visitors Bureau.

The Military Exhibition “aims to support U.S. Armed Forces, firefighters, police officers, and first responders – all of our loved ones in service,” the release stated.

The Smokin’ in the Hills committee also announced that Southern State Community College “will join in this opportunity to honor the service and sacrifice of all who answer our nation’s call, then, now and tomorrow.”

As a “Premier Sponsor,” Southern State Community College “will be onsite to answer any questions for service members and veterans interested in academic programs offered at their main campus or branch campuses throughout the region. They will also have information on the Basic Peace Officer Training Academy program offered annually at the main campus,” the release stated.

Kevin Boys, president of SSCC, said, “When we sponsor events like this, we do so as a way of keeping Southern State Community College in the minds of the communities we serve. In this case, it is possible that our presence will lead to matching a student with a program they didn’t realize we offered.”

“We appreciate president Boys and the whole team at Southern State Community College for their continued commitment to our community through its various programs and services. We are proud to call them our community college,” county commissioner Shane Wilkin said in the release.

The committee also thanked Active Heroes, The Highland County Veterans Service Commission and the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association “for all their hard work in organizing the Patriot Challenge scheduled for an 8 a.m. shotgun start the morning of the event.” Registration is open for the obstacle course race at

The Times-Gazette