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The High on the Hog Festival’s organizers have worked hard to make it a stellar example about what Franklin County has to offer, reaching a pinnacle — the largest chapter in the event’s 27-year history.
The Franklin County Kiwanis Club and the City of Winchester have joined forces each year to offer residents and visitors a great entertainment and festive venue annually during the third week in April.
Jeannie Bates, who leads the High on the Hog’s organizational efforts, summed up what this year’s chapter is all about.
“We’re excited about having the most participants in the biggest lineup we’ve ever had,” she said Monday, just before the gates were to open at Winchester City Park to accommodate large crowds through the remainder of the week and the weekend. “This should be one of the most exciting festival’s we’ve ever had.”
The festival this year has a record 77 barbecuers vying for up to $12,000 in prizes, the potential coveted bragging rights from emerging as the cookoff’s champion.
The event has averaged about 50 barbecuers, and the increased participation in the challenge has led organizers to be optimistic that the festival will be and remain one of the state’s top culinary attractions.
The Great American BBQ Tour, a nationally recognized barbecue ranking organization, will be present.
“This year we have had sponsors contact us instead of us to them,” she said.
With the $12,000 in prizes, including $1,500 to the grand champion, and goody buckets to all participants and judges, High on rhe Hog is one of Franklin County’s biggest annual events.
About 40 sponsors including, Bennett’s Pharmacy, Prichards’ Distillery, Browns Pool Room, Tims Ford Powersports and others have donated and helped make the event a great experience for people from all over to take pleasure in great rides and some incredible BBQ.
This year’s High on the Hog has new events, like the Reser’s Potato Salad challenge.
The event has been chosen by Reser’s as one of five across the Unites States on its barbecue competition itinerary.
Winner of the Reser’s competition get $750, plus a travel voucher to Las Vegas for the World Food Competition. Second place will receive $250.