Starting today, Gadling is taking a look at our favorite festivals around the world. From music festivals to cultural showcases to the just plain bizarre, we hope to inspire you to do some festival exploring of your own. Come back each week for our picks or find them all HERE.
Each July, nearly 100,000 visitors descend on East Dublin, Georgia to participate in a one-of-a-kind event known as the Summer Redneck Games. This unique festival is a celebration of “all things Redneck” including special feats of athleticism, a variety of culinary treats and plenty of fun.
The story of the Redneck Games begins in 1996 before the Atlanta Olympics. After outsiders began making fun of “Rednecks” who were hosting the games, a group of volunteers decided to do something about it. Enterprising locals took critics’ remarks as a challenge, organizing their very own “Redneck Games” and agreed to donate the proceeds from the event to charity. In its inaugural year, more than 5,000 visitors showed up. The organizers knew they were on to something. Over the last decade, the Redneck Games have continued to grow, with participation reaching 95,000 rednecks during the annual one-day July extravaganza.
Much like the Olympic games, the Redneck Games hosts a number of challenging athletic events, but with a uniquely Redneck twist. Favorite contests include the Hubcap Hurl, the Bobbin’ for Pigs Feet Fest, Mud Wrestling, and a special contest called Redneck Horseshoes, which uses toilet seats in place of the standard iron game pieces. There’s also plenty of authentic Redneck foods for hungry spectators, including Corn Dogs, Alligator Kebabs and Elephant Ears. You’re also sure hear authentic Redneck slang like “y’all,” “fixin’ to,” “do what?,” and the all-time favorite (as coined by Redneck favorite, Larry the Cable Guy), “Git R’ Done!”
Though the Redneck Games would seem to be a decidedly local affair, it has slowly attracted fans from across the U.S. and around the world. As the event has become more popular, a steady stream of participants from “above the Mason-Dixon line” has joined in the fun, with events taking place as far away as Canada and a range of international media coverage.
There’s many misconceptions about the Games – critics decry the Redneck Games as nothing more than horseplay and drinking beer. But much like the comments the led to the event’s creation, event organizers and supporters have taken the remarks in stride. To its fans, the Redneck Games remain nothing but a silly, great time. Despite the increase in attendance and popularity, it remains much the same pure fun that it has always been.
Want to join in the craziness? Head down to Georgia this July 10th to check it out. Everyone is welcome – even Yankees…