Michael Character and his barbecue team, Character’s Famous BBQ, of Adairsville will be part of the State of Alabama’s Year of Barbecue when they travel to Dothan, Ala., for the 10th Annual Tri-State BBQ Festival April 10-11 at the Houston County Farm Center in Dothan.

So far, teams are entered from the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Texas and New Mexico. The professional teams will be competing for over $10,000 in prize money while the backyard competitors will vie for $500, trophies and bragging rights.

There will be an additional People’s Choice contest open to all competitors which allows the spectators to sample the barbecue and pick their favorite. $250 is awarded for the People’s Choice competition on Saturday.

A Sweet Tea Contest and a Gizzard Cook-Off also offer cash prizes and are open to competitors and non-competitors alike. The Kids Cook competition has two age divisions for aspiring chefs, featuring cash prizes and trophies for Junior Cooks, aged 8-12, and Senior Chefs.

All of these contests require pre-registration and some are limited to the number of entries permitted. Details and entry forms are available at or by calling (334) 699-1475.

The Tri-State BBQ Festival is one of four sites chosen for upcoming episodes of the Discover America channel’s BBQ Pit Wars television series.

The TV crew will be filming on both Friday and Saturday, and Michael and his team will be a featured team for the show.

This also gives barbecue teams some idea of how they stack up against the well-known professional cook teams who will be competing at the Tri-State BBQ Festival. BBQ Pit Wars appeals to home cooks, barbecuers, foodies and those who just like to eat well.

In addition to the barbecue competition, there will be cooking classes featuring whole hog demonstrations, bands and music of various genres, and vendors of food and crafts. Entertainment for the whole family will include a Car Show, a Bicycle Stunt Show, a Reptile Discovery Program, a Mini Golf layout and other fun activities.

There really is something for everyone in a family friendly atmosphere. Tickets can be purchased at the gate each day, and are $10 each. Children 6 and under are admitted free, and well-behaved pets on a leash are also welcome.