Some Skeptical of Redneck Games' Future | News
The mud pit belly flop and bobbing for pigs' feet are just a few of the festivities proud redneck and funnel cake vendor Joey Hobbs will miss this year.
"There will be a lot of disappointment there," he says. "There's people that they look forward and they count the days down to the Redneck Games. Anybody that's been here knows we've had 'em shoulder to shoulder out here enjoying it. You have everything from a lawyer to a bum out here."
Redneck Game organizer Larry Drew says crowds used to reach up to 5,000 a day, but explains there's been a drop in redneck participants since 2005, with last year's busiest day barely topping 1,500.
"We decided this year we'd just put it off one year and just see how many people call and see what the interest was. One reason we put it off was because we changed the dates last year and it kind of messed it up," says Drew.
Hobbs also blames the economy.
"Attendance of your vendors dropped because of traveling. The entrance fee was nothing to do with it really. What they were charging to get in was nothing, but all the traveling to get here and stuff like that just kind of took a toll on it," he explains.
The cancellation will impact more than just the watermelon-seed spitters.
All of the money raised from the Redneck Games goes to local charities. Drew says every year they write a check to the Porter Eye Clinic in Dublin. That money pays for eye exams and glasses for children.
Drew says, some years, they split checks of almost $20,000 between several charities, but the past few years, their totals only reached about $1,200 to $1,500.
Hobbs says he's seen some other festivals take a year or two off and never quite recover, but he hopes the Redneck Games will pick right back up next year.
Drew says a decision will be made about the 2014 Redneck Games in July or August.