Ridge Grove barbecue draws good crowd

Published 4:39 pm Monday, March 18, 2019

RIDGE GROVE — A big crowd was on-hand Saturday for the annual Ridge Grove Barbecue.

Food was prepared for 1,000 people, and when the dine-in and carry-out plates are combined it was close to a complete sellout.

The mid-March barbecue is the lone fundraiser for the Ridge Grove Volunteer Fire Department. The event attracts people from throughout Chambers County, along with Tallapoosa and Lee counties as well.

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The money raised allows the Ridge Grove VFD to maintain the fire station, keep the vehicles in good running condition and have the firefighters with quality equipment when they answer a call. Ridge Grove has a large service area on the west side of Chambers County. Tony Lovelace is the fire chief, and the department has 12 active volunteers.

Cooking for the barbecue started on Thursday. An estimated 2,500 pounds of butts and 900 pounds of chicken were prepared for one big crowd that gathers in Ridge Grove each year. The chicken went into an estimated 540 gallons of stew that was cooked in the big pots behind the fire station. The butts were grilled for the barbecue, and some 50 gallons of barbecue sauce was made.

The Ridge Grove barbecue has been going strong for the better part of three decades now, and there’s no sign of it losing any popularity. People far and wide see it as the place to be in Chambers County on the third Saturday in March.

Ridge Grove is one of 13 volunteer departments in the county. Most of them have fundraisers to have good equipment and well-maintained buildings. The other VFDs include Abanda, Union Hill, Mount Olive, Stroud, Standing Rock, Five Points, Fredonia, Lakeview, Cusseta, Oak Bowery and West Chambers. Huguley has the personnel to be considered a volunteer department as well.

Fredonia will be having its barbecue on Saturday, April 27. The fire department has been having fundraiser barbecues for close to 70 years.