Thumbs of the Week: Barbecue event a resounding success

Staff Reports • Updated May 26, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Thumbs up to the inaugural Southern Smoke Barbecue Championship, held Saturday by the Rotary Clubs in Wilson County at the Expo Center, which was a success, according to Kevin Etheridge, president of the Mt. Juliet Breakfast Rotary Club. The Mt. Juliet Breakfast Rotary Club took the lead on the project, which served as a fundraiser for the Rotary clubs in the county. Volunteers from each club participated in the event. The event saw 19 top-level barbecue teams compete for $12,000 in cash prizes, as well as the distinction of winning the inaugural Wilson County competition. The Kansas City Barbecue Society officially sanctioned the event.Wilson County residents were welcome to visit the event, which had no admission fee, and take part in the many festivities on-hand, in addition to the central competition. Among the activities were a zip line, rock climbing wall, bounce houses and vendors onsite. Winners in the barbecue championship were named in several categories, as well as an overall grand champion, awarded to the team Sweet Smoke Barbecue, and a reserve champion, awarded to the team High on the Hawg. Among the categories in which awards were presented were best chicken, pork ribs, pork and brisket. On Friday, the evening before the event, a special five-star dinner dance event was held at the Expo Center, featuring the Exotics and celebrity chef John Coon.


Thumbs up to the city of Lebanon, which recently received a prestigious environmental stewardship award from Gov. Bill Haslam for its efforts in energy and renewable resources. Haslam and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau announced the city last week as a winner of the 2017 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards. Winners will be recognized for their achievements and positive impact on the state’s natural resources in an awards ceremony to be held in Nashville on June 16. With the addition of a waste-to-energy plant, Lebanon is eliminating tons of waste streams from reaching landfills. In 2015, the mayor and city council began to research ways to take care of the city’s waste because a local landfill is almost at capacity. This is the first commercial plant of its kind in the state and currently the largest downdraft gasifier in the world. 


Thumbs up to community members who gathered at Pickett Chapel on Saturday to celebrate and honor those who gave of their time and energy to help the Wilson County community during their lifetimes. The Wilson County Black History Committee holds the Heritage Peace Garden Celebration once a year to remember people who were outstanding members of the community. This was the event’s sixth year. Honorees for 2017 were Finley Thompson and Mandy Thompson-McCathern, as well as Frank Palmer and Stella Palmer. Stones engraved with the names of the honorees were dedicated in their honor at the ceremony. Mary Harris, president of the Black History Committee, said Finley and Mandy Thompson were the type of people always willing to help those in need. Finley Thompson once ran for mayor, and Mandy Thompson-McCathern worked at the Lebanon Senior Citizens Center as a cook and also cooked for the sick.

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