After years of sponsoring the annual fest, WQZY Radio decided to pull
out of the games this year. WQZYs parent company, State Broadcasting Corp.,
is fighting a lawsuit filed by the family of a young boy who lost his arm after
swinging from a rope into the Oconee River during last years event.
However, the East Dublin Lions Club, co-sponsor of the Redneck Games,
said the games must go on.
This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, said Lions Club President
Freddie Baugus. We give the money to local charities. Particularly to buy
eyeglasses and eye exams for children and needy adults.
Baugus said the Summer Redneck Games generate between $12,000 and
$15,000 each year for the Lions Club - fundraising thats worth the Lions
Club taking on the task of organizing the annual event.
This year I am coordinating the entertainment, the vendors, and we are
looking for sponsors, said Lions Club member Larry Drew. If anyone wants to
have a booth or sponsor something in particular, Im the guy they need to
Drew said the 2009 Summer Redneck Games will be held on July 11 at
the usual gathering spot - East Dublins Buckeye Park.
All the contests will be the same as before, said Drew, like the toilet
seat horseshoes, bobbin for pigs feet, the armpit serenade, watermelon
seed-spitting and of course the mudpit belly flop.
However, a few changes are in store for this years Redneck Games. Drew
said anyone attending must bring a photo ID.
If they are 21 well put a wrist band on them and they can drink, he
Anyone caught drinking without the wrist band will be transported,
said East Dublin Mayor George Garnto, also a Lions Club member, and by
transported, I mean to the Laurens County Law Enforcement Center.
Well have plenty of officers on hand and there will be zero tolerance on
the underage drinking, Drew said.
Another change this year - attendees who leave the park and plan to
return will have to pay another $5 entry fee.
Its to cut down on the congestion, said Baugus. It just creates too
much congestion when people come and go. We hope this will help people
stay in the park.
Baugus said the park will close this year after the fireworks. In years
past, some party-goers have remained in the park until the wee hours - and
with crowds upwards of 10,000 in attendance, thats a lot of people to clear
out of the park.
Usually its about 25 percent rednecks and 75 percent spectators,
laughed Garnto. After the fireworks the spectators leave and the true
rednecks stay on.
Drew said the headline performer this year will be the Brian Callihan
Brian is a Dublin boy, he said, but now his band is from Tennessee.
They will be the big performer and of course well have the usual performers
like Ronnie Mullis and others. But we do have openings for some more
WQZY started the games as a promotional stunt 14 years ago, garnering
so much publicity that newspapers and television stations all over the world
started covering them. Drew said the calls from national media have already
started pouring in.
We got a call from some news organization from Sweden the other day,
Drew chuckled. They heard about it and want to come see it for themselves.
The gates will open at 10 a.m. and the games begin at noon. Admission
is $5.00 per person -and dont forget to bring that photo I.D.
For more information or to participate as a vendor or sponsor, call Larry
Drew at 478-272-6909 or visit www.summerredneckgames.com.