Barbecue contest added to Masonic celebration

Published 12:03 am Saturday, June 1, 2013

It’s now June, which means one thing – the kickoff for Florala’s June 24th Masonic Celebration.

This year’s celebration, which will be held June 24-June 29, will mark the 143rd consecutive year the event has been held in Florala. Organizer Kennith Jackson said there will be old favorite events such as the Alligator Trot 5K run/walk, bass tournament, arts and crafts and parade, as well as some new events like a bar-be-cue contest.

“One of the biggest things this year is that there is no carnival,” Jackson said. “We couldn’t work it out, but we’ve worked hard to keep the traditional events going and to try and bring new things that will generate new interest.”

Jackson said to start the month, the committee will host its annual treasure hunt. Clues will begin on Monday, he said.

The next scheduled event will be the June 15 bass tournament. Things will begin in earnest on Mon., June 24, he said.

“That’s when things kick off big,” he said. “We’ll have the children’s Anything Goes Parade and water battle, which is a big draw. The beauty pageant is that week, too.”

Saturday will bring a multitude of things to do. This year’s parade will begin downhill at 11 a.m. The Florala High School band boosters are again sponsoring arts and crafts on the shores of Lake Jackson.

“And one of the new things we’re proud of will happen that Saturday beginning at 6 a.m. – our barbecue contest,” Jackson said. “Just by chance, I met two guys recently who are about to complete the bar-be-cue judging school in Florida. They’ve agreed to come and train four to six volunteers for that day to judge. We’ve put a lot of thought into this, and we have a whole list of rules to follow.”

There is a $50 entry fee; however, a first place win could earn one $75; second place, $50 and third place, $25. The overall grand champion will earn $150. There will be two categories – ribs and chicken.

“Teams – which can be from one person to a group of folks – will be asked to show up at 6 a.m., and you’ll be required to pre-show your meat,” Jackson said. “Judges will have to see it to make sure that it’s a good piece of meat and that there’s no marinade on it.”

Jackson said he hopes that those who enjoy the reality show “BBQ Pitmasters” will participate in the contest – or come by after to enjoy the day’s wares.

For any more information about June 24th events, call Jackson at 334-343-1469. For a complete schedule of events and a list of the bar-be-cue rules, visit

For beauty pageant forms, visit the Miss June 24th of June Facebook page.