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Hazard County.

The Redneck Games take over the deepest South.

The people of East Dublin didn’t immediately take to the Redneck Games when they first appeared as a sideshow to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. It wasn’t long, however, before they embraced their “traditional” cultural heritage and the tongue-in-cheek nature of the event, and collectively flopped into the warm Georgia mud in droves.

Perhaps the most eye-catching event of the games is, in fact, the Mud-Pit Belly Flop, where fully-clothed contestants plunge belly-first into a natural pool of red clay mud. The bigger the belly, the better your chance, as the winning flopper with the biggest splash tends to weigh over 250 pounds. And if you work up a hunger, fried alligator on a stick is a favorite festival treat.

Other disciplines include the Hubcap Hurl and the mouth-watering Bobbing for Pig’s Feet. Similar to the kiddies’ Halloween favorite, this involves seven slowly-defrosting raw pig’s trotters and a shoulder-deep bobbing bucket. One crucial difference is that, unlike apples, pig’s feet don’t float. And don’t miss the Dumpster Dive (where contestants dive into a garbage-packed dumpster and try to find a holiday prize paper) and the Armpit Serenade. Children normally win this event, as smooth-skinned pits tend to give off a truer “wind.”

Originally dubbed the Bubba Olympics, The games are the inspiration of Jeff Kidd and his team at the local radio station, WQZY. Their initial intention was to give Olympic spectators reasons to stop off in the small town of East Dublin, as they travelled between the main games in Atlanta and the ice hockey in nearby Savannah. Attendance has risen from the inaugural 1,000 guests to crowds nearing 10,000 in 2001.

L-Bow, the grand guru of the event, claims contestants are “just plain good ‘ol boys and gals who’d give you the shirt off their back, although it’s doubtful you’d want it.”

If you fancy an early start during this year’s games on July 8, come along and you could win yourself a fantastic and authentic crushed Bud light beer can trophy.
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