Professional turkey callers will bring their best imitation gobbles Saturday during the 17th Annual Peach State Classic Turkey Calling Competition Saturday.
Hosted by the Columbus Firefighter's Association, the event provides a charity outlet for competitive "callers" to move up in regional and state competitions sanctioned by the National Wild Turkey Foundation.
Firefighter's Association President and Columbus Fire Department Lt. Gene Hull said the competition began as a way to fund the association's 5566 Lynch Road building. After the building was completed about 10 years ago, it became a home for the event.
Since then, the Firefighter's Association has chosen a different charity each year to receive proceeds for the event. This year's recipient — the Georgia Firefighter's Burn Association, which aids burn victims with medical costs.
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"The Georgia Firefighter Burn Foundation is an excellent organization," Hull said. "They help burn patients, they assist them in their needs and they help fund the Burn Center at Grady (Memorial Hospital)."
A children's competition will kick off the event at 10 a.m., with doors opening at 9 a.m. For non-"callers," the day will also include $5 barbecue plates and performances by Backtrackin', a three-piece band comprised of first-responders with the Firefighter's Association.
Watching the professional callers' performance, however, should be entertaining even for those who don't hunt, Hull said.
"These are people who are dedicated to this activity, and they put on a show," Hull said.
Admission to the event is $5, which includes entry into a raffle hosted by the Firefighter's Association. Children 12 years old and under can attend for free.