Whether it was for the barbecue or for the softball game, dozens of locals gathered at Tom Pittman field for what proved to be another successful Aragon BBQ.
The event, now 45 years old, stayed largely true to its roots with lots of food to go around and a flashy display of fireworks to top it all off.
Barbecue was cooked nearly all day long, but there were plenty of other options for hungry locals. Food booths were selling favorites such as slushies, funnel cakes, popcorn, and lemonade, and those who still had leftover money after chowing down could be seen visiting crafts vendors and other general goods sellers for shirts and mementos.
And it was in the vendors where the changes to the city could be seen. New businesses and artists in Aragon means new booths were available at the barbecue, and while traditional items were still sold, new restaurants such as Barn Belly Burgers joined the roster of vendors for the first time.
The Aragon BBQ has also traditionally been a place for children to burn off some energy and this year was no different. Inflatable slides and bounce houses were home to dozens of energetic youth, and whether they were playing or watching, the softball games seemed to keep them thoroughly entertained.
Traditional events call for traditional music, and live covers of classic country and rock tunes from famous artists such as Johnny Cash and others set the atmosphere. Some preferred to sit and watch the band, but others used the music as a backdrop to their own activities.
However, regardless of how they spent the day, the Aragon BBQ managed to reach 45 years thanks to the people who show up and participate. Mayor Garry Baldwin once described the event as surviving off the citizens’ commitment, and it remains true of the June 22 event.
“It’s the citizens’ commitment to it,” Baldwin explained during a previous Aragon BBQ. “It’s a long-standing event. It was started by some people that are no longer with us, and they left a legacy for us. People enjoy it. It used to be a fundraiser for the fire department, but now it’s just a community event. We don’t even try to make money off of it- we just hope we break even. Most of the people that started it aren’t here anymore, so we just carry on the tradition.”