Though the pandemic may change their plans, both Covington and Atoka are planning to host their annual BBQ festivals this spring.

Last year both were cancelled, as were many events around the country, but plans are already in progress in case conditions will be favorable this year.


In January, Atoka Parks and Recreation Director Dorothy Isbell announced the town would be making its preparations and organizing their event, which is set to take place in early April.

On Tuesday, Covington Parks and Recreation Director Joe Mack told city officials the Covington BBQ Festival, which is the oldest in the world, is planned to take place the first week of June. It will now be a Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned event, instead of a Memphis Barbecue Network event, with a new festival committee. Mack anticipates an increase in sponsors, participation, categories and winners.

On Tuesday, Atoka also announced plans to host a Food Truck Festival event in late March at Nancy Lane Park. If the pandemic allows, festival-goers may be able to sit at picnic tables in the park to eat.

Echo Day
Author: Echo Day

Echo Day is an award-winning journalist, photographer and designer. She is currently The Leader's managing editor.