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story.lead_photo.caption Westside Eagle Observer/MIKE ECKELS Bill Montgomery (left) and wife Michel greet family and friends as they lead the Decatur Barbecue parade through downtown Decatur August 5, 2017. The parade will return to downtown Decatur August 4 during the 65th Annual Decatur Barbecue. The theme for this year's event is "Then and Now," the history of the Decatur Barbecue.

DECATUR -- There is good news for Decatur Barbecue fans. It's on!

The fate of the Barbecue, as well as the Decatur Chamber of Commerce, was in question as 2017 came to a close. Poor attendance and minor differences of opinion threatened to end both the event and the chamber itself.

During its regular January 8 meeting at Decatur City Hall, several members suggested that the chamber be disbanded indefinitely. In April, however, new leadership was voted in and the organization was revived.

A discussion then began on whether to retire the Barbecue or cancel it this year because of time constraints. But Kim Wilkins (new chamber president), Linda Martin (vice-president), Sandy Duncan (secretary) and Amy Brooks (treasurer) pulled several community leaders together and, along with Mayor Bob Tharp, gave the green light on the Barbecue during the chamber's regular June 4 meeting.

Some of the popular events, like the parade, Tiny Tots pageant and the car show will still adorn the schedule, while others will be retired.

One that will be retired after this year is the Miss Decatur Barbecue pageant. A recent decline in the popularity of pageants like this one led to fewer entries in the contest. One plan the chamber is working on is to open the contest up to Decatur girls only. Over the years, few Decatur girls have claimed the title. More details about the contest will be released after the July 2 meeting.

This year's barbecue theme is "Then & Now," a celebration of the 65 years of the Decatur Barbecue

At present, the chamber is still working on entertainment for the evening concert at Veterans Park. More information will be published in the Westside Eagle Observer as it becomes available.

The Decatur Chamber of Commerce is looking for new individual and business members. Anyone interested in becoming a member or wishing to volunteer and help with the Decatur Barbecue may contact Kim Wilkins at 479-752-3912 or visit the city of Decatur website at

General News on 06/13/2018

Print Headline: Decatur Barbecue is on

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