Tylertown’s city board approved a special-event beer license for the South Mississippi Boucherie Barbeque Event to be held Sept. 10-11 at Southwest Events Center. After the board’s 4-1 vote, the application goes to the Mississippi Department of Revenue for the final approval.
Ald. Fred Lambert voted against the measure, while the remaining four aldermen all gave their okay to the license.
The Boucherie was originally scheduled for March 2020, then postponed twice more last year. Organizers then hoped to reschedule in March this year before deciding on the September dates, all because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Stephen Pigott, one of the event’s organizers, told aldermen the festival is sanctioned by the Memphis Barbeque Network as one of the contests which results in an annual barbeque championship cookoff at the annual “Memphis in May” event.
Pigott said being able to offer beer should be a boost for the local festival, noting that Tylertown will be in a position to attract out-of-town visitors to the venue, such as students from Southern Miss at Hattiesburg looking for activities on weekends.
Southwest Distributors of McComb is donating the beer that will be sold, he said.
“Every dollar from sales goes back into Walthall County,” Pigott said, noting that the money taken in should allow the festival to attract name bands in the future.
Pigott told the board the Boucherie committee, an arm of the Chamber of Commerce, plans to sell beer at $5 a cup and have a system set up to make sure sales are limited to those 21 and over and refuse sale to anyone who appears intoxicated.
He said the price will also act as a deterrent.
“At $5 a cup people’s wallets will keep them in line,” he said.
The Chamber of Commerce has a liability insurance policy for the event, and Pigott says he will personally put up a cash bond.
Overall, Pigott stressed that the festival is a family-friendly event with live music, kids activities, a car show, arts and crafts vendors and more.
“While new to us, beer is sold at events such as this all over the state with no incidents,” he said.