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Rhythm and Ribs BBQ Festival: Free Festival in Tifton, Georgia

Smoke wafting from barbeque cookers fills the air as we get close to Fulwood Park. The Rhythm and Ribs BBQ Festival is in high gear. Food trucks and vendor booths dot the park. Live music emanates from the stages. Meat cooking contestants have their entries well underway.

Rhythm and Ribs Barbeque Festival

A BBQ Tent at the Rhythm and Ribs BBQ FestivalA BBQ Tent at the Rhythm and Ribs BBQ Festival

The Rhythm & Ribs BBQ Festival is a fun day of food and music. Entertainment and vendor booths fill Fulwood Park. There's no admission charge and no parking fees. Solo musicians and bands perform from two stages throughout the day. Food stands offer a wide variety of meals and treats -- corndogs and burgers, fried gator and fish, gyros and wraps, cheese fries chili, ice cream and cotton candy, and too many other goodies to list Venders are selling, among other things, Amish cheese; airbrushed t-shirts custom made on the spot; beaded jewelry; and sets of expensive cookware. Oh, and barbeque!

One of the 100+ Vendors at the Rhythm and Ribs FestivalOne of the 100+ Vendors at the Rhythm and Ribs Festival

The Rhythm & Ribs BBQ Festival has ribs -- and kabobs, steaks, chops, chicken, sausages, and huge chunks of meat. A big part of the festival is the barbeque contest. Backyard grillers get to show off their stuff in the amateur division. Professional cooks compete in the cook-off, sanctioned by the Georgia BBQ Association. There's prize money to win -- thousands of dollars of prize money.

It all looked good. So good. We had excellent beef tips. The seasoning had just enough kick to get our attention. They were tender and juicy, even when cooked to our preferred well-done. The only food disappointment was that we were too full to sample more of the available hot-off-the-grill goodies.

The Pine Box Dwellers Provide Musical Entertainment at the Rhythm & Ribs FestThe Pine Box Dwellers Provide Musical Entertainment at the Rhythm & Ribs Fest

The Rhythm and Ribs Fest is a family event. There's entertainment for kids, as well as for adults. The younger set was enjoying the bounce house. Those wanting to experience the festival from 400 feet above were on the zipline. And, what would a festival be without a mechanical bucking bull!

Music started the evening before the festival, with a Friday night Kick Off Party. It continued on both stages throughout the festival. The musical entertainment was free.

The Food Vendors at the Rhythm & Ribs Festival Gave Diverse Choices -- and Lots of BBQ!Food Vendors at the Rhythm & Ribs Festival Gave Diverse Choices -- and Lots of BBQ!

There is no admission fee to attend the festival. The music is free. There's quite a bit to see and do, just walking around the park. The park has playground equipment, so there's free stuff to keep the kids busy. Vendors selling food, arts, crafts, specialty rides, and other wares were, naturally, charging for their items. However, it was possible to go the festival and have a great time, without spending a dime.

The festival takes place at Fulwood Park, a 28-acre park with playgrounds, picnic areas, and restrooms. The location is 817 Prince Ave, Tifton, GA 31794. There was free parking along the streets and on the north end of the park. Additionally, shuttles ran between parking areas further away. The Rhythm & Ribs BBQ Festival is an annual event, put on by the Tifton-Tift County Tourism Association. It is held the first weekend in March, in Tifton, Georgia.

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