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Christmas on the River features State BBQ Championship

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 12:07 PM CST
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DEMOPOLIS, Ala. (WTOK) -

Around 20,000 people are expected to descend upon Demopolis, Alabama this weekend for the 50th annual Christmas on the River celebration.

One of the biggest draws is the Alabama State Championship Barbecue contest. Between 40 and 50 participants from all over the Southeast will take part in this event, with the winners moving on to national competition. The food is great and the competition is friendly, but fierce.

”Some of them compete professionally and they compete all over,” said Jessica Dial who helps manage the BBQ competition. “We have some people coming from as far as Missouri, Tennessee and all over the place. They come out here and have a good time. The don’t come out here just to play around and just cook. They come out here to make the best barbecue in the United States.”

“For the past 50 years, it pretty much has put Demopolis on the map,” said Kirk Brooker, Co-Chair of Christmas on the River. “We’ve been featured on national television stations, A&E TV. Food Network has come down. We’ve been named one of the United States top five Christmas towns. We really have been put on the map because of Christmas on the River.”

The BBQ Championship is being held until 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning and admission is only five dollars. The winners will be announced at 2:00 Saturday afternoon.

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