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Backwoods Buffet brings boost to Braggs

By EASON FRANKLIN
The Lowndes Signal

The small community of Braggs nearly tripled in population over the weekend as visitors from all over the nation flooded the town to attend the annual Backwoods Buffet.

Now in its sixth year, the annual event was never expected to draw such a large crowd, said event coordinator Steve Stephens of the New Bethel Baptist Church of Braggs.

“We were thinking because we didn’t put the tent up people would think we weren’t having it this year,” Stephens said.

The church usually hosts the Backwoods Buffet under a large tent placed adjacent to the Baptist Church by volunteers, which appeals to people passing through the small community.

Stephens estimated nearly 180 people attended the event, drawing from as far as Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York and New Jersey.

The Backwoods Buffet was started by Stephens as a way to meet and talk to members of and visitors to the Braggs community.

“It’s just the kind of thing you do…something unselfish,” said Stephens. “Somehow, we keep doing and they keep coming.”

Stephens is also planning another event, the annual Valentine’s Banquet, at the church to take place in February for the young adults of the congregation.

This year’s banquet will feature a lock-in at the church; a first since the tradition started, said Stephens.

“The young adults always have a Valentine’s Banquet. This year, the kids want to have a lock-in,” Stephens said. “For them, it’s probably going to be a lock-down.”

The event is likely to be scheduled for the Friday or Saturday preceding Valentine’s Day, added Stephens.