Great Alabama Homecoming - Decatur Riverfest

By Bobby Shuttleworth - bio | email

DECATUR, AL (WAFF)- Decatur's Riverfest celebration is this weekend.  The event kicked off Friday with the unveiling of an historic marker at Ingall's Harbor.

Assistant State Tourism Director Brian Jones, who was born and raised in Decatur, will be returning home for the event.

"This year was all about reunions and homecomings....inviting people back that maybe hadn't been back or visited in 2 years, 3 years 10 or 12 years. But it's not just a celebration of the past, it's to let them see how the cities and communities have grown," said Jones.

This weekend at Riverfest a huge turnout is expected for the Kansas City sanctioned bar-B-que contest, and an Alabama Championship Cookoff.  77 pro teams are competing. The competitors have unique names like Government Pork, High on the Hog, Hittin' the Sauce, and Hickory Critters.

"We're cooking in the pro circuit portion of this competition. Which pro and back yard....the differences are pro cooks 4 meats, pork, chicken, ribs and beef brisket and the back yard cooks ribs and chicken," said Athens pro cooker Jonathan Hinton.

Hinton says there is a golden rule to cooking barbeque.

"Low and slow is the way to go, as far as I know," he said.

There is also a backyard competition for more than 30 amateur teams.  Huntsville's Brice Callaway says it's the first time his crew has competed here.

"We use rub and sauce and of course the best quality meat you can start with the better quality that you end up with," said Callaway.

What better way to celebrate the Great Alabama Homecoming and southern competition than a bar-B-que.

Riverfest will be held September 17-18 at Ingall's Harbor in Decatur.

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