Tuesday, June 14, 2022
Tifton, Georgia
Michael Symon, center, award-winning chef and New York Times best-selling author, at Tifton's Rhythm & Ribs BBQ Festival in March. Tifton and the festival are featured in an upcoming episode of Symon's new series "BBQ USA" on the Food Network, which will also be streaming on Discovery+.
Tifton Grapevine
The Rhythm & Ribs BBQ Festival, which has become Tifton's signature event, will get national exposure in a few weeks on the Food Network and streaming on Discovery+.

Michael Symon, Food Network star chef, award-winning restaurant owner, and New York Times best-selling author, premieres his new primetime series, “BBQ USA,” on July 11. Symon attended Tifton's Rhythm & Ribs Festival during March, and one of his six one-hour episodes showcases The Friendly City and the BBQ festival.

"Symon travels to the biggest BBQ competitions across the country as elite competitors and top-notch BBQ talent battle for the ultimate barbecue bragging rights and prizes," the Food Network says in a promotional release.

"In Tifton, Ga., Symon visits the Rhythm & Ribs BBQ Festival where 60 teams compete for cash prizes. During the competition, longtime friends and rivals, The Rescue Smokers and Off The Chain BBQ, are battling for awards and bragging rights to see which team scores highest with the judges. Meanwhile, newcomers Pate’s Pit and Atomic City Smokers are ready to take on the big boys and show that they can win it all," the Food Network said.

It notes tha Symon will spotlight the "talented teams that work tirelessly at honing their craft to prove they are the best in the barbecue world, while also talking with the most diehard fans, and, of course, tasting all the delicious 'cue from all over America – including fall-off-the-bone ribs and smoked brisket."

In other episodes, Symon travels to Texas for Cedar Fest, heads to Memphis for the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, and visits competitions in Alabama, Kansas, and New Jersey.

“Having the chance to travel the country and watch these 'cue stars compete on the grandest BBQ stage was a dream come true,” Symon said.

“BBQ USA” premieres at 9 p.m. July 11 on the Food Network, and all episodes will be available to stream weekly starting July 11 on Discovery+.
Sam Roach of Boy Scout Troop 62 in Tifton plants an Arbor Day tree on March 4, 2021. Troop 62 has adopted 30 trees at the Dixie Avenue Tifton Housing Authority property.
Tifton Grapevine
Tifton residents may have noticed many young trees growing along Tift Avenue, Eighth, 10th, and 12th streets, and elsewhere all over town. There have been approximately 1,000 trees planted along city rights of way since 2005.

These plantings are through the combined efforts of the Tifton Tree Board, the Tifton Heritage Foundation, the Downtown Development Authority, individuals, and other local groups

The first 500 trees were planted 15 years ago with funds from the Tifton Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit neighborhood association for the residential Tifton Historic District.  

During the past four years, another nearly 500 have been planted along rights-of-way by the Tifton Tree Board with the goal of recreating canopied streets that existed historically in Tifton, says George Vellidis of the Tree Board. 

The most recent plantings in 2021 and 2022 were financed by a grant proposal submitted by the City of Tifton and the Tifton Tree Board to the Southwest Georgia ReLeaf program, funded by the Georgia Forestry Commission and the Georgia Tree Council.

“We requested $9,992 from the program, matched by $2,500 from the Tifton Heritage Foundation for a total of $12,492,” Vellidis said. “These funds were used to purchase, plant, and mulch 165 trees throughout Tifton.”

“All of the planted trees are native and most have been live oaks,” Vellidis said. “Live oaks were selected because they are native, long-lived, and have an evergreen canopy, thus mitigating street temperatures all year.”

Vellidis said no city funds were used to plant the trees. The majority of donated monies were provided by the Tifton Heritage Foundation

All trees were purchased from Central Florida Lands & Timber Nursery and were planted and mulched by Outdoor Services of Tifton, a local business. Tree Board members continue to water, fertilize, and trim the trees.

Dr. Steve Rigdon was recently seen early on Memorial Day with a water tank truck, watering trees along Eighth Street. 

Many people have been involved,” said Rigdon, a board member of the Tifton Heritage Foundation. “Lori and Jimmy Felton, George and Tracey Vellidis, Michael Mitchem from the city, Jeannie and me, Joe Laforest, and other tree board members.

George and Tracey have been especially central to all of this, with cooperation and help from UGA Tifton,” Rigdon said. “Basically, almost any tree planted on the streets in the Historic District over the last 20 years has been planted or paid for by multiple volunteers.” 

Boy Scout Troop 62 has adopted and cares for the 41 planted trees at the Dixie Avenue Tifton Housing Authority property, said Lori Felton with the Tifton Tree Board. FFA groups at Eighth Street Middle and Northeast Middle schools have adopted trees close to their campuses.

Anyone interested in adopting any of the newly planted trees in Tifton may visit the Tifton Tree Board website or call 229-391-3937, Felton said.
In an interview with a Saskatchewan radio station as the Canadian Football League starts another season, Tifton's Larry Dean, a linebacker for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, said he hopes his football career gives hope to kids in Tifton.

Dean, 33, a CFL All-Star who has played for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills, said he grew up poor in Tifton, and his family was sometimes homeless when he was a kid. He eventually became a star athlete at Tift County High School and at Valdosta State University, paving his way for a professional football career.

“I can’t be afraid to speak about it now, knowing that it could help another little kid somewhere in a similar situation, and I’ve learned and matured a great deal," Dean said.

To read the full article on Dean posted by the Canadian sports-talk radio station, Click Here!
The Exchange Club of Tifton recently presented a total of $15,000 in grant funds to several agencies and organizations in the community that work to help needy, at-risk children.

"All of these groups work alongside of each other in order to make sure our children are safe," the Exchange Club said.

Agencies receiving grants include: Alliance for Children, Called to Care, Coastal Plain CASA, Kids Advocacy Coalition, Maggie Campbell’s Gingerbread House, Patticake House, Peanut Butter & Jesus, PLIGHT, South Georgia Ministries/LifeHouse, the Kalos Academy, the Salvation Army, Tift County Commission on Children & Youth, and the Tift County Needy Children’s Fund.

Grant funds were raised through the Exchange Club’s annual Bids for Kids auction, which was held online this year.

"The club truly appreciates all of the hard work and dedication these agencies put forth for our kids," the Exchange Club said in a statement.
The Atlanta Braves World Champions Trophy Tour is making a stop in Tifton on Thursday, July 21.

At 4 p.m. that day, the 2021 World Series Trophy will be on display at the Tift County Recreation Department on Victory Drive and available for fans to take photos with it.

Tifton is one of 151 stops for the World Series Major League Baseball Trophy that the Braves won last fall, defeating the Houston Astros. The trophy tour, sponsored by Truist Bank, includes stops in "Braves Country" – locations in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

The number of stops commemorates 151 years of Braves baseball; the franchise was founded in Boston, Mass., in 1871, as the Boston Red Stockings (not to be confused with the current Boston Red Sox). The baseball franchise underwent several names in its history, including the Boston Beaneaters, Boston Doves, Boston Rustlers, Boston Bees, Boston Braves, Milwaukee Braves, and then moving to Atlanta in 1966 as the Atlanta Braves.

It is the longest, continuously operating franchise in Major League Baseball.

The trophy tour began in Atlanta on Feb. 15. It will include stops at St. Simons Island on July 13, Valdosta on July 16, and Thomasville on July 23.

“We felt the tremendous support of 'Braves Country' throughout the season and particularly in the postseason, and we are taking this championship on the road to fans across the Southeast so that they can share in the joy and celebration of this historic victory,” said Derek Schiller, Atlanta Braves president & CEO.
Tifton Grapevine
South Georgia and the Tiftarea are seeing temperatures and heat indices in the triple digits, and health officials remind residents to take proper precautions.

The National Weather Service says the Tiftarea is not expected to see any respite from the dangerous heat at least through the weekend as local temperatures are forecast to reach up to 102 degrees by Saturday with heat indices over 110 degrees.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention say that heat-related deaths and illness are preventable, yet more than 600 people die from extreme heat every year in the United States.

Residents are urged to take measures to stay cool and remain hydrated. Getting too hot can make you sick; you can become ill from the heat if your body can’t compensate for it and properly cool you off.

The main things affecting your body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather are high humidity (when the humidity is high, sweat won’t evaporate as quickly, keeping your body from releasing heat as fast as it may need to), and personal factors (age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use), the CDC says.

People age 65 and older are at the highest risk for heat-related illnesses, as are children younger than two, and people with chronic diseases or mental illness.

The CDC recommends that during extremely hot weather, as the Tiftarea is now experiencing, drink plenty of fluids, take frequent breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas when working outdoors, wear loose-fitting and light clothing, schedule strenuous outdoor activities to the early morning or evening when possible, check up on vulnerable relatives and neighbors, and never leave young children or pets unattended in vehicles.

“Here in South Georgia, we all know we have extreme heat in the summer,” said Kelly Garvin, family medicine physician at Southwell Medical Clinic in Tifton.

“This heat can be deadly, especially for vulnerable populations like children, elderly, and obese individuals. People like athletes and outdoor workers are also at an increased risk.”
"Caramel," a female kitty, is available for adoption today at the Tift County Animal Shelter. To adopt Caramel and to see other pets available, visit the shelter between 1-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, or call 229-382-PETS (7387).
Pets of the Week are sponsored by:
Branch's Veterinary Clinic
205 Belmont Ave., Tifton, 229-382-6055
~ JUNE 14, 1934
The City of Tifton on June 14, 1934, unveiled and dedicated a "beautiful granite arch at the 10th Street entrance to Fulwood Park" to Col. C.W. Fulwood. One of Tifton's leading citizens, Fulwood was the city's first and only chairman of the Park and Tree Commission at that time.
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