Blackman Barbecue integral part of life

Source: The Daily News Journal, July 3, 2010

Sometimes, it seems, the rat race is running faster than ever, with people working so hard to survive the recession they rarely have time to relax and talk to friends.

In its 61st year, though, the Blackman Barbecue afforded local folks a chance to gather, reflect on old times, look to the future, show off their children, talk politics or simply share a laugh. The event isn’t quite the same as it used to be after moving to Blackman Middle School from the friendly confines of Blackman Community Center. But it had little choice because the crowd outgrew the grounds.

Barbecue, beans, coleslaw and iced tea continue to be the main fare, and this year’s gathering drew its fair share of political candidates, too, each looking to gain an edge at an event guaranteed to attract a large crowd. The Cripple Creek Cloggers showed their old-time dancing skills, and a modern version of Ben Franklin attended wearing 1700s clothing while some handed out pocket-sized copies of the Constitution. That is fitting, because we believe the Constitution and Bill of Rights, in part, make gatherings such as this — including the politicking — possible for American citizens. We are free to gather, to speak, to listen and to campaign, all without worrying about government interference.

Freedom, family and friends — the Blackman Barbecue provides us a sense of community within Rutherford County and a solid place in the national community as well.

Blackman Barbeque set for Friday, June 25

The 61st annual Blackman Barbeque will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 25 at Blackman Middle School at 3945 Blaze Drive. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children. They are being sold now by Blackman Community Club members and will be available at the door.  Proceeds go for upkeep of the Blackman Community Center and service projects. Traditional food is pork barbeque, beans, slaw, chips and tea.

In addition to dinner, the event includes live music, dancing, an auction and a raffle. There will also be activities for children, including two inflatable bounce houses. With voters going to the polls for the primary election in August and general election in November, the barbeque is also a must-attend event for those running for city, county, state and national office.

The Blackman Barbeque was conceived by the Blackman Community Club in 1949 to raise funds for a clubhouse and grounds. Over time, the event has grown, and the community center has flourished as a place for community meetings, family reunions and children to play.

For more information on the Blackman Barbeque, contact John L. or Melissa Batey at 615-890-1608 or via e-mail at