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Moonshines & BBQ Cook-Off Festival – Union Point Georgia

Written by  April 1, 2014

The Moonshines and BBQ Cook-Off Festival is a two-day event that started March 21 and ran through March 22. I can tell you that for the bikers who were drinking moonshine, it was a three day event.

This festival is the first time I saw an event that brought Harley riders and Trail riders to the same location. I guess that there are three things that all motorcycle riders have in common. First of all, they like drinking apple pie made out of Moonshine. Second, are the fine-looking women running around in leather. I guess the most the important of all was riding their bike either through the wood or on the open road.

Early Saturday morning I received a phone call from Mike McCommons that he wanted me to come to Durhamtown Plantation Sportsmans Resort a few miles outside the sleepy little town of Union Point, Georgia. At that time I was up in Anderson, South Carolina trying to cover another event but it just did not pan out. So with my new camera in hand I took the ninety miles drive to Union Point.

Over the phone Mike told me when I arrived at the gate to tell the attendant to call him and he would come to the gate and meet me. Well I arrived about a hour after the Moonshine Festival started and everything was going at full speed. I could not find the gate so I found a place to park and went to work.

I saw a line of food vendors along the fence which all was cooking BBQ. I was thinking this no problem. I just had eaten in Washington, Georgia before I arrived. When I walked by the first tent a man ask me if I wanted some BBQ it was free. Well what can I say I ate some BBQ. The next sixteen BBQ vendors I ate some more free BBQ. At the end of line I found out there was only two vendors that was selling something to drink. One of them was giving away free five shot samples of moonshine. I still have not figured out why I was kind of stumbling as I walked off. I don’t know why I always go over board when I hear them say free.

When I got down to the end of the row of vendors I found out the Georgia BBQ Association was having a BBQ Cook off contest during the two day event. The event started on Friday night with BBQ wings contest. My understand is that the BBQ Wings was the favorite of everyone and the wings went fast. At the end of the day Mike McCommons and Greg Sebastian GBQ Contest Representative presented the awards to the winners. The top three winners in each of the categories took home money or prizes. Smokin’ 42 BBQ’s Grand Championship Pork Loin entry led the way in the category. Sauced Hogs Smoke Shack was the runner up. H & J Cooking Crew took third place. Clay & Stephanie Beal of Old Henry’s BBQ got the fourth place with Bubba Grills rounding out the top five. The GBA also sanctioned a Cooking for Fun contest at Durhamtown. Screaming Eagle took first place in Pulled Pork with Southern Accent taking second place. Komado Kommandos scored a perfect 600 in the Ribs contest with Screaming Eagle as runner up. Screaming Eagle had the highest cumulative score for the two categories to claim the Grand Championship.

Geoff Gaskin and Steel Cutter FMX Freestyle Motocross athletes from Canada come south each winter to Germantown, Georgia then return north during the summer to finish out their tour. Geoff and Steel put on a pretty good show at five and at nine Saturday night. This Freestyle pair is part of the Pure Adrenaline Stunt team. They do stunts forty feet up in the air on a motorcycle that I would not even think of doing.

I have been hearing a lot about the Moonshiners on the Discovery Channel series that tells the stories of the men and women who keep the tradition alive and make a little money on the side distilling illegal whiskey in the back woods. As a young boy I use to listen to my Daddy talk about when he use to make moonshine in the back woods of Madison County Georgia. In the early days it was not as glamour’s as they make it out on television. Back in the early days it was not a multi-million dollar industry. Moonshine is still based on a practice that precedes the founding fathers and it’s not slowing down any time soon. Jeff Waldroup who played in twenty-two episodes as himself was a very interesting person to meet.

This is the first time that I went to a bike event where there was music all day and way up into the night. At noon Tim Cadiere and the Wash board Road Band from Eatonton, Georgia played until three pm. Tim Cadiere's soulful original songs have new-Country overtones with a dash of Cajun brought over from his native Louisiana. An hour later the Band Next 2 the Tracks from El Paso, TX plays until seven pm. Smoking Guns a New York based band came on Roosters stage at eleven. Then it became an all-night party.

I learned that day it was hard to catch up with a busy man. It took me over four hours to wind up in the same place with Mike McCommons. Durhamtown Plantation Sportsman’s Resort is a place that now caters to all type of motorcycle riders and from two wheels to Jeeps. You can come test your Harley on the quarter mile dirt drag strip or watch the dirt dragsters race each other. You can come for the day or stay in your camper or rent a cabin. I can tell you they have great food in their restaurant. I found out later you can rent a trail bike to ride in their sixty-seven hundred acre wood. I always like coming back here to cover an event. One thing about Durhamtown is that if you can do it on a bike you can find it here.