A C Goes First at the BBQ Fest

A reception at the mayor's tent draws a crowd.

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Mayor A C Wharton always makes a ballyhooed appearance at the annual BBQ Fest on the river, and his hospitality tent is always a draw.

This being an election year, things were the same -- but maybe a tad different.

Wharton has a few people trying to take his job away this year, and several of them have respectable credentials.

One thing they're up against, though, is the glow and glitter of incumbency on ceremonial occasions, and it remains to be seen how the mayor's opponents can match his bonhomie and swagger when he turns up for an officially tinged celebration.

"No politics tonight!" A C declared on Wednesday night as he addressed the crowd in his tent on what, essentially, was the first act of this year's festival.

But that, of course, was some nifty politics in itself.

And the power of incumbency was quickly demonstrated when the mayor, after listening for a bit to the power-country sound of Thomas Rhett that was blasting away on the tent's amped-up speakers, decided on a change.

"You can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy," declared Wharton to a bystander, whereupon the native of Lebanon in Middle Tennessee put a word in the DJ's ear, and -- insto presto! -- the music had changed to Hank Williams Jr.

Marginally more down home, and that's how Hizzoner wanted it.


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