DECATUR -- Heavy rain, heat and humidity threatened to derail the 66th annual Decatur Barbecue at Veterans Park in Decatur on Saturday. Fortunately, the Decatur Chamber of Commerce, sponsor of the Barbecue, was able to continue the day without canceling a single event.
The Barbecue opened its doors around 10 a.m. with the 16th annual Decatur Barbecue Car Show. Because of the threat of rain, the number of cars was low this year. But the ones that managed to make it out still drew a crowd to the north end of the Veterans Park midway on Pat Street.
At 10:30 a.m. the star of the Barbecue took center stage as Decatur Chamber members opened up the Bunker (former chicken shack) for sales of chicken dinner. By late afternoon, the chamber sold all 500 chicken halves.
About the time the opening ceremony began, around 12 p.m., the skies darkened and the wind picked up. Mayor Bob Tharp was able to give his welcoming address and introduced the grand marshal for this year's parade, James Turner, before the first raindrops began to fall. After Tharp led the pledge of allegiance, Amy Milliken sang the national anthem. The ceremony concluded with a prayer by Terry Horton, pastor of the Decatur Sale Barn Church.
But as soon as Horton finished the prayer, the clouds unleashed their fury and heavy, heavy rain pounded the Decatur area, dumping more than two inches of rain and flooding parts of the stage and the midway area near the Bunker.
The steady heavy rain continued for the next hour, threatening to cancel the Barbecue Parade. Chamber president Kim Wilkins and vice-president Linda Martin decided to postpone the parade one hour to see if the rain would let up.
Just before 2 p.m. the rain finally subsided enough to let the parade go on. In spite of the light rain that persisted, children and adults lined the east side of Main Street to enjoy the spectacle and to catch a piece or two of candy.
The rain continued throughout the afternoon as preparation continued for the Bellamy Brothers concert later in the evening.
At the conclusion of the Decatur Barbecue Tiny Tots and Miss Decatur Barbecue contests, the stage was set for what would be one of the biggest turnouts for a Barbecue concert in six years.
Up first was a rising star on the Nashville scene, Kevin Upshaw, who had the crowds absorbing every single note of his unique style of country music, including some from Nashville's top recording artists.
Following Upshaw, David and Howard Bellamy took center stage for a night of old and new hits that spanned their 40-year musical career.
The 66th annual Decatur Barbecue concluded with a grand fireworks show, put on by the Decatur Fire Department. For 20 minutes, the sky lit up with almost all colors of the spectrum. The grand display was sponsored by McKee Foods. The finale lit up the night skies in Decatur for miles around and had the crowd stopped in its tracks. It was a fitting end to a day that fans of the Decatur Barbecue will remember a lifetime.
General News on 08/07/2019
Print Headline: Barbecue brings Bellamy Brothers, fish tanks, parade