MOULTRIE — The seventh annual Spring Fling and Backyard BBQ Festival will be held Thursday, April 15, through Saturday, April 17. Those wanting to take part in the variety of activities can sign up now.

City of Moultrie Main Street Director Amy Johnson said she would like to thank all of this year’s sponsors, especially Dewitt Drew at Southwest Georgia Bank. All of the sponsors have stepped in and helped make Spring Fling a reality this year as the City of Moultrie, like so many others, has faced cutbacks because of the economy.

“If it was not for our sponsors,” Johnson said, “we wouldn’t be having this festival.”

The annual festival will begin with a “Night of Bluegrass” music at the Colquitt County Arts Center, Johnson said. The Marksmen will perform starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 15, and tickets for the concert can be purchased at the Arts Center. More information is available by calling the arts center at 985-1922.

On Friday, April 16, the festival kick-off concert will be held at 8 p.m. at Lewis Hill Amphitheater, Johnson said. The featured performer will be John Conlee, a family-oriented singer in country and gospel music and a co-founder of Farm Aid. He has had 26 number one country hits, including “Rose Colored Glasses,” “Back Side of Thirty,” “Friday Night Blues” and “Common Man.”

The concert is free to attend, and Johnson said she encourages everyone to bring lawn chairs to sit and enjoy the show.

Beginning at 5 p.m. April 16 and concluding on April 17 will be the Spring Fling Middle School Doubles Tournament. Recreation Department Director Terry Peek said the tournament, started last year, will pit 12 teams of fifth-grade to eighth-grade students in two days of competition at the Lynda Moseley Tennis Complex. Each participant will also receive a T-shirt.

To register for the tournament, Peek said to call the Recreation Department at 890-5429 or come by and fill out a registration form. There is a $40 fee per doubles team to participate, and the deadline to register is 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 13.

A full day of activities will take place on the courthouse square on Saturday, April 17, Johnson said. The festival will get going with the annual Kiwanis pancake breakfast at 7 a.m., and a variety of entertainment, activities and competitions will be taking place throughout the day.

Among the competitions taking place will be the annual Backyard BBQ Competition, the Miss Moultrie Spring Fling Pageant, the Downtown Idol competition and the Pet Parade. Johnson said sign-ups are being taken now for all competitions, and more information cane be found by calling Main Street at 890-5455 or visiting the Downtown Moultrie Web site at The pet parade is being hosted by the Moultrie-Colquitt County Humane Society.

Johnson said there is space still available for those wanting to set up an arts and crafts booth. She encouraged people to take advantage of this opportunity to showcase their crafts at the festival. All spaces for food vendors have already been filled, however.

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