Community made Bowie Fest possible

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Jim Bowie Festival and BBQ Throw Down kept me tossing and turning in my sleep the last two Septembers.

As co-chairman of the event the pressure to produce a successful festival is enormous.

Are we going to have enough volunteers? Have we dotted all the i’s and crossed all of the t’s? Is anyone going to attend? Will the entertainment make everyone happy? Will the weather cooperate?

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Two years in a row, I have worried needlessly. The volunteers have been more than plentiful and enthusiastic each year. Our director Jamie Wiley had a checklist that was almost flawless this year.

Our attendance has been up each year. This year, the committee chose to allow all children 12 and under to attend free of charge. Paying adults totaled around 1,500. The entertainment was great, and the weather was perfect. From the sweet gospel sounds of the Vessels to the original tunes of Callahan Divide, the audience was clapping and calling for more. Maybe the fact that Clyde Ray Webber was our master of ceremonies this year made the bands sound even better. It certainly improved the story telling that was resonating from that stage. He kept the audience howling with laughter the entire day.

Vendors selling everything from gator to flavored ice lined the fairway surrounded by jumpy houses and water slides. In the far corner of the festival, Brandi Lipsey’s Flock of Faith petting zoo entertained more than 200 children on Saturday.

On the other end of the venue, BBQ’ers from all over the South competed for prize money and trophies.  Ann “BBQ Barbie” Westmoreland and Glen McGlothin hosted 31 BBQ teams and over 40 Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) judges. Their hard work paid off at 4 p.m. when everyone gathered at the stage to watch the winners receive the beautiful hand-made trophies and $12,000 in prize money.

At the end of the day, the festival boils down to hard work and community support. It is really impossible to name everyone who made a phone call, used a favor, loaned a table or SUV. But I can promise you, our community is full of wonderful giving people who will try to rope the moon if you ask politely.

We appreciate each and every business who extended their support.

We send our sincere thanks to each man, woman and child who attended or volunteered at the Jim Bowie Festival and BBQ Throw Down. We are currently forming the committee for next year’s festival.  You are not required to be a chamber member to participate. Contact Jamie Wiley at the Concordia Chamber of Commerce by phone at 318-336-8223 or by email at, if you are interested in being a part of next year’s magic.


Ouida Pecanty is the co-chairman of the Jim Bowie Festival and BBQ Throw Down.