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Jackson Backyard BBQ is Saturday

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Who makes the best barbecue in town? You can decide for yourself this Saturday at the third Jackson Backyard Barbecue.

The event will be from 2 to 10 p.m. in and around Pavilion No. 1 on Parkview Street in City Park. The $20 admission includes samples of barbecue, a pulled pork sandwich, soft drinks, water, beer and live entertainment.

Marc Ashby started this event in 2019 as a way to help the families of first responders who were killed or hurt in the line of duty. All proceeds go to benefit The Back-Stoppers, Inc.

Three years ago, Ashby held his first fundraiser at the Ground-A-Bout on Adams Street. “I expected a couple of hundred people,” he said. Instead, some 700-800 showed up.

The COVID-19 pandemic quashed plans for the Backyard BBQ in 2020. Ashby revived his fundraiser last year, but he moved it to the old courthouse lawn to make room for more attendees. This year, he moved to City Park to have even more room and more parking available.

“We keep outgrowing our locations,” Ashby said.

Big name entertainers will perform live this year. National recording artist Heath Sanders will headline the event. This country artist was a preacher’s son from Zack Ridge AR, just outside of Marshall. He now makes his home in Nashville.

Also performing will be another country recording artist, Matt Kennon, a native of Conyers, GA.

While music fills the air, attendees will be able to taste a variety of barbecue from 15 self-proclaimed barbecue “experts.”

“Everyone around Jackson thinks they’re the best barbecuers,” Ashby said.

Another way to support BackStoppers will be to purchase tickets during the event to win various items in a drawing.

The BackStoppers Inc. has assisted more than 180 first responder families since the charity began in 1959. Based out of St. Louis, it serves 25 counties — 15 in Missouri and 10 in Illinois. The Missouri counties include Cape Girardeau and Scott.

The BackStoppers Inc. will pay off mortgages, help send children to college and more, Ashby said. It is currently assisting approximately 95 families with 75 dependent children. The charity provides approximately $2.5 million in assistance each year.

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at

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