AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) - Papa Joe’s Banjo-B-Que kicked off at Lake Olmstead Stadium for the first time in its decade of existence. It’s a full circle moment for the people who organize it each year in honor of the late Joseph R. Pond, a man who loved family, barbecue and bluegrass music.
“He’s from Augusta. He grew up right across Lake Olmstead in National Hills," said Banjo-B-Que spokesperson Brooke Arnold.
This weekend, the hills are alive with the sound of bluegrass.
Jam packed with 19-bands, a $40,000 barbecue competition, kids activities and more. Including a family-owned mobile barbecue business from Mobile, Alabama.
“It opens up the door for us next year. Once people get the word out, people not only will come back today and tomorrow, but they’ll also come back next year," explained Hank “The Tank” Marshall with Off the Bone Bbq, LLC.
Banjo-B-Que organizers say they’re expecting thousands of People from all across the U.S. and residents look forward to what impact that will have on the city.
“Its nice to see this many people come here and it’s great to see this field revitalized. Its the place where we used to come watch the GreenJackets, where we used to come hang out, so, it’s god to be here sitting in the same stands just listening to good music now," recalled first time festival-goer Patrick Fritz.
The City of Augusta recently spent $75,000 to repair the 7,000 square foot deck there. Commissioners said the festival sets the stage for future events at the stadium as city leaders oversee its transition into an amphitheater.
A single-day pass for Saturday is $65 bucks. Kids 15 and under are free in general admission with a ticketed adult.
All proceeds benefit the Joseph R. Pond Memorial Foundation which benefits the CSRA Foundation.