By Cheril Vernon

Messenger Copy Editor

CROCKETT – A couple of family-friendly events including a tribute to George Strait, live music and a barbecue cook-off are planned this weekend – Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28 –  as part of the Crockett Police Officer Association’s 1st Annual Back the Blue BBQ Cook-off.

“We hold a lot of events for children, but we wanted to put something together that would appeal to adults so we decided to do a cook-off and concert,” Crockett Police Department Lt. Clayton Smith told The Messenger Friday, Oct. 20. “Overall, our goal is to create greater trust and confidence among our community and with our children.”

The Back the Blue event will start on Friday, Oct. 27 as several barbecue cook-off teams begin setting up on the Crockett Civic Center grounds. About 20 teams will vie for first place in four categories: brisket, chicken, pork ribs and beans. Teams can sign up through Thursday, Oct. 26 and enter all four categories for $130 or single categories for $35 each. The winning team in each category will win a special engraved knife. Second- and third-place in each category will win a trophy.

“The teams will start setting up at noon on Friday (Oct. 27) on the grounds. Later that afternoon, we will hold a cook’s meeting to explain the rules. Starting at 8 p.m., we will have a live band, the Dyllan Culp Band out of the Houston area, which will perform until about 11:30 p.m. on an outside stage. Dyllan graduated from Crockett and will be coming back home to perform. ”

The public is invited to come out to mingle around the cook-off teams and listen to live music and dance.

“They can bring their lawn chairs, sit and listen or come and plan to dance,” Smith said. “This will be a BYOB (bring your own beverage) event, but it will be a very controlled environment.”

Barbecue cook-off judging will start on Saturday (Oct. 28) afternoon, with winners announced around 5 to 5:30 p.m.

The “Tribute to George Strait” event will start at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28 at the Crockett Civic Center featuring tribute artist Derek Spence with Southern County Line.

“He’s a George Strait look-alike. He performs all of his music. There will be a dance floor set up with tables and chairs. It’s going to be good dancing music. We will have a few vendor tables as well,” Smith said. “It’s going to be a truly authentic experience. It would be a fun, family atmosphere and a place to mingle with local law enforcement. That’s the main thing – to come out and show support for local officers and support of law enforcement in general.”

The “Tribute to George Strait” event also will be a BYOB event. Admission is $15 per person or $25 per couple with a $10 cooler charge (limited to 42 quarts).

Tickets are available in advance and at the door. Tickets are available during regular business hours Monday through Friday at the Crockett Police Department. For more information about either event or to sign up a barbecue cook-off team, call 936-546-1047.

“The Crockett Police Officers Association organized in 2015 and is pretty much made up of local law enforcement here in our department and their immediate family. We provide assistance to fellow police officers hurt on the job or to officers who lose a house in a fire or have a death in the family by providing assistance to their loved ones,” Smith said. “When the officers were killed in Dallas we sent money for that to support law enforcement in general. We also support and hold events for children in our community such as the Easter egg hunt and a back-to-school fun day for the kids. At Halloween, we pass out candy. We try to interact with the kids and get them to understand that we are not bad people.”

In addition, the Crockett Police Officer Association will sell drawing tickets during the Back the Blue events for a Sig Sauer 1911 C3 two-tone .45 caliber handgun. Tickets are $1 each for six for $5. The drawing for the gun will be held at Christmas on the Square in Crockett on Nov. 18.