Redneck Games calling it quits for 2013

obrown@macon.comFebruary 20, 2013 

Is it sayonara for the armpit serenade? Farewell to the mud pit belly flop?

It is -- at least for 2013. There will be no Redneck Games in East Dublin this year.

After lackluster attendance at the 2012 games, organizers have decided to take a year off, with the idea of restarting the event in 2014, said Larry Drew, the city administrator.

The Redneck Games began in Dublin in 1996 as a tongue-in-cheek answer to the Atlanta Summer Olympics that year, and organizers poured it on thick. They created enough parodies to give comedian Jeff Foxworthy a year’s worth of material. In time, the games moved to Buckeye Park in East Dublin.

After the ceremonial lighting of the gas grill, visitors could watch -- or even participate in -- the Hubcap Hurl, Bobbin’ for Pig’s Feet, Competitive Seed Spitting, a Dumpster Dive and Redneck Horseshoes. (Yes, they used toilet seats.)

The Armpit Serenade competition was judged for style and performance, once drawing a young entrant’s moving rendition of “Dixie.”

One early winner of the Big Hair Competition expressed pride at the staying power of her creation.

“Honey,” she said, shaking her third can of hair spray, “Hurricane Hugo couldn’t move this hair.”

They hoped to draw a few hundred that first year. About 3,000 people showed up, and calls started rolling in from networks and newspapers across the country and around the world.

“Then it got a little bigger,” Drew said. “It was a money maker and a good thing,” helping fund several charities.

Last year, organizers held the games at a different time, moving them to late May from a traditional date around the Fourth of July, and that hurt turnout.

Attendance was down -- about 1,500 attended on one of the hottest days of the year, Drew said.

Now, “It’s time to regroup because of the economy,” he said.

“If we get a lot of feedback, we’ll do it for 2014,” probably moving the games back to the Saturday after the Fourth of July holiday.

Attendance topped out at about 5,000 some years. It just seemed bigger at times, Drew said.

“It looked like 20,000” down at the mud pit.

To contact writer Oby Brown, call 744-4396.

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