Cowboys and cowgirls of all ages are dusting off their boots and saddling up for the start of Screven County's 60th Livestock Festival.
The Diamond Anniversary celebration began last weekend with the crowning of the new reigning queen, Sydney Wilkinson, who will preside over the remaining festivities.
The festival will pick up speed on Saturday with the BBQ Grill-off Competition and an afternoon of entertainment at the Sylvania Amphitheater.
Winners will be named at 6 p.m. in the categories of beef, pork, lamb, and goat.
Even before livestock was celebrated as a festival in Screven County, farmers and cattlemen participated in the Fat Cattle Show, which was later combined with a local hog show. The success of the livestock shows combined with a community parade and activities produced by the Screven County Livestock Association began what is now the longest continuously running livestock festival in Georgia.
Today's livestock shows feature the hard work of FFA and 4-H members from across the county, who compete for ribbons and cash prizes with their cattle, sheep, pigs, and goats.
Following Thursday's Steer Show, a game of Cow Patty Bingo will end the night.
To top off the week's events, a grand parade day is planned, featuring life-long supporters of the festival, Edward and Thetis Brinson and Georgia Agriculture Commissioner, Gary Black, the three of whom will serve as Grand Marshalls of the parade.
Marching school bands will participate in a Battle of the Bands during the parade, and Wilkinson will make her grand appearance as the 2011 Livestock Festival Queen.
Following the parade, venders and children's activities will be available in downtown Sylvania, while the Screven County Livestock Association gets cranked up for their annual Chicken-Q located behind the Chamber of Commerce.
Kids will be decked out in their Western Wear for a contest beginning at 1 p.m. around the fountain.
A free concert event featuring The Headliners from Hilton Head Island will end the night at the Sylvania Amphitheater, where families can bring their blankets and a picnic to enjoy a night of music and entertainment.