By Donna Thornton/News Editor
What’s better than the smell of good barbecue? At Smoke on the Falls, only the taste can surpass the olfactory enjoyment of the best barbeque-ers in the region, all looking to claim their part of more than $10,000 in prizes.
Smoke on the Falls is set for April 11 and 12 at the Noccalula Falls Campground. This annual festival brings backyard cookers as well as the pros to compete or just to cook up some good times for friends and family.
April 11 is free day, meaning everyone is invited to come out and meet the cookers. Janet Tarrance of Gadsden’s Parks and Recreation Department said between 35 and 40 teams already have reserved their spot at the Falls, with a couple of weeks left to register.
The action kicks off on April 12 with Smoke Your Buns, a 5K run at the Falls. Runners can find registration forms at local gyms, on the Discover Noccalula Facebook page or at the park office. The run begins at 8 a.m. and the awards ceremony is at 10 a.m.
Tarrance said the run is becoming a more established event, and she’s expecting a great turn-out for it, as well as for the festival.
“Smoke on the Falls has become one of the first big events of the spring,” Tarrance said.
The big change for the festival this year is its’ move from the park side of the falls to the campground side.
“It will give us a little more room for cookers,” she said.
There will be entertainment and activities for youngsters: inflatables and game and a zip line for kids and adults. Tarrance there will be an extra fee for the zip line.
Gates open at 11 a.m. April 12. Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for ages four-12; ages three and under are free. Admission includes entry to the barbeque festival, kids area, concerts, Noccalula Park, one round of mini-golf and one free barbeque sandwich.
Entertainment includes the music mix up from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. featuring Adam Walden, Mony Irby, Marsha Morgan, and the Brooke Danielle Band; Haley and Alexis Band at 5 p.m. and the John King Band at 7 p.m.
The kids area will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.