BBQ contest keeps improving

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I was born and raised in North Carolina. In 1973 I moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and traveled back and forward to visit family.
For many years I passed Exit 14 of Interstate 77, not knowing what I was missing.
Last year, I became a Memphis Barbecue Network judge and had the opportunity to go to Galax to judge the Smoke On the Mountain barbecue contest.
Last year’s contest was great, the weather was beautiful, the city was clean and the people that I met were great. It was even better this year. How do you do it?
It was almost like everyone was some sort of actor brought in to make the City of Galax sparkle. No, they were real hometown people and wow — what great people.
I have had the opportunity to visit almost every state in the U.S., and there’s something special about the feel of the place. The city officials, policemen, business people, volunteers and local Joes and Josephines were all very happy, friendly and real ambassadors for the festival and city.
Any business that departed Galax lost out on some incredible resources, the unique people of Galax.
I know this sounds kind of hokey, but believe me, there really is something very good in Galax. I plan to attend the barbecue contest again next year and hope to plan another visit before then.

Al Crawford II
Cincinnati, Ohio