Duncan Family Barbecue: Political picnic on steroids

For three hours, Congressman Duncan greeted friends in a receiving line.

For three hours, Congressman Duncan greeted friends in a receiving line.

Ten thousand guests. Eleven hundred pounds of barbecued pork. Two thousand pounds of fried chicken.

Bluegrass music. Patriotic music. Old rock-and-roll. New rock-and-roll. And the Pride of the Southland Marching Band.

Face painting. Balloon animals. A magician. Popcorn and ice cream.

And more politicians than you can shake the proverbial stick at!

If there were anything missing from the Duncan Family Barbecue this past Tuesday, you couldn’t prove it by me. And, to top it off, the whole thing ran like a well-oiled machine. There’s a reason for that. Congressman Jimmy Duncan, his staff and family – and those of  his father before him – have been putting the event together every election year since 1968. This was the 22nd Duncan Family Barbecue.

Held at the Civic Coliseum, the event attracted hordes even before it officially started at 5:30. Duncan staffer Bob Griffitts said a committee headed by himself and Duncan’s sister, Becky Massey, handle all the details. “We’ve been doing it for so many years that everybody just knows what their job is, and they do it,” Griffitts said.

This year folks were generally in a good mood. Although there have been some spats between attendees in the past, this year everyone seemed to get along. Even the Democrats who were scattered among the crowd. It was like the Tennessee Valley Fair — with air conditioning!

Bill Haslam's gubernatorial campaign bus was parked in front of the Civic Coliseum.

Bill Haslam's big gubernatorial campaign bus was parked in front of the Civic Coliseum.

This photo of the food line was taken 15 minutes before the event started!

This photo of the food line was taken 15 minutes before the event started!

Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam walked in with the Pride of the Southland Marching Band and immediately started shaking hands.

Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam walked in with the Pride of the Southland Marching Band and immediately started shaking hands.

The trombone section.

The trombone section adds a festive feel to any event!

Where there are politicians, there will be media. Here, Alan Williams from WVLT-TV, interviews Congressman Duncan.

Where there are politicians, there will be media. Here, Alan Williams from WVLT-TV, interviews Congressman Duncan.

Mayor Bill Haslam, left, and state Rep. Frank Niceley

Mayor Bill Haslam, left, and state Rep. Frank Niceley

Tim Wheeler dished out a LOT of beans!

Tim Wheeler dished out a LOT of beans!

Wendy Norris helped pass out the barbecue sandwiches.

Wendy Norris helped pass out the barbecue sandwiches.

Chicken, anyone? Gary Loe helped out in the food line.

Chicken, anyone? Gary Loe helped out in the food line.

Part of the reason the event ran so smoothly was all the work like this that went on behind the scenes.

Part of the reason the event ran so smoothly was all the work like this that went on behind the scenes.

Meanwhile, back in the receiving line, Congressman Duncan continued to shake-and-howdy.

Meanwhile, back in the receiving line, Congressman Duncan continued to shake-and-howdy.

What's a nice policeman to do? When a sweet couple asks you to take their picture with the Congressman, you do it!

What's a nice policeman to do? When a sweet couple asks you to take their picture with the Congressman, you do it!

Bill Haslam has gotten quite comfortable with this type of setting. Flags always make a nice backdrop.

Bill Haslam has gotten quite comfortable with this type of setting. Flags always make a nice backdrop.

Hahaha! Loved this Cas Walker for President t-shirt worn by Jim Golden.

Hahaha! Loved this Cas Walker for President t-shirt worn by Jim Golden.

Charley Sexton of Moxley Carmichael chats with Duncan's sister Becky Massey.

Charley Sexton of Moxley Carmichael chats with Duncan's sister Becky Massey.

Police Chief Sterling Owen IV, left, with developer John Turley.

Police Chief Sterling Owen IV, left, with developer John Turley.

Duncan's daughter-in-law, Lindsay Duncan, worked the crowd at the barbecue.

Duncan's daughter-in-law, Lindsay Duncan, worked the crowd at the barbecue.

Claudia Loy announced that she will go to work for Duncan's son, Knox County Trustee John J. Duncan III, starting Nov. 1.

Claudia Loy announced that she will go to work for Duncan's son, Knox County Trustee John J. Duncan III, starting Nov. 1.

Lynn Duncan, left, posed with Claudia Loy.

Lynn Duncan, left, posed with Claudia Loy.

By now, the Crown College Choir had taken the stage singing patriotic standards.

By now, the Crown College Choir had taken the stage singing patriotic standards.

City Councilman Marilyn Roddy, right, made the rounds. Here she is with Marianne Thompson.

City Councilman Marilyn Roddy, right, made the rounds. Here she is with Marianne Thompson.

City Councilman Joe Bailey, left, and former Knox Republican Party Chair Chad Tindell.

City Councilman Joe Bailey, left, and former Knox Republican Party Chair Chad Tindell.

Duncan staffers Bob Griffitts and Jenny Stansberry worked hard on the event.

Duncan staffers Bob Griffitts and Jenny Stansberry worked hard on the event.

Good-natured Bill Dunn made the scene. He was former County Commissioner Mary Lou Horner's driver!

Good-natured state Rep. Bill Dunn made the scene. He was former County Commissioner Mary Lou Horner's driver!

Republican Charles and Phyllis Severance were on hand.

Republicans Charles and Phyllis Severance were on hand.

Former City Councilman Steve Hall, left, and Smitty Giles.

Former City Councilman Steve Hall, left, and David Morrow.

Rumored candidate for Knoxville mayor, Mark Padgett, glad-handed while carrying daughter, Kirby. Cute!

Candidate for Knoxville mayor, Mark Padgett, glad-handed while carrying daughter, Kirby. Cute!

Phil and Cindy Ballard.

Phil and Cindy Ballard.

Duncan's brother-in-law, Morton Massey, left, and Smitty Giles.

Duncan's brother-in-law, Morton Massey, left, and Smitty Giles.

That's County Commissioner R. Larry Smith with the silver hair in the back. He's in a line to shake hands with Duncan.

That's County Commissioner R. Larry Smith with the silver hair in the back. He's in a line to shake hands with Duncan.

Wes Bailey and his trio were fantastic, playing a wide variety of rock-and-roll.

Wes Bailey and his trio were fantastic, playing a wide variety of rock-and-roll.

From left, state Rep. Ryan Haynes, Janet McGaha, and Becky Massey.

From left, state Rep. Ryan Haynes, Janet McGaha, and Becky Massey.

Amy Foster, right, of Moxley Carmichael, and her parents Skip and Jean Foster.

Amy Foster, right, of Moxley Carmichael, and her parents Skip and Jean Foster.

It wouldn't be a political gathering without former County Commissioner Diane Jordan.

It wouldn't be a political gathering without former County Commissioner Diane Jordan.

Over in the children's area, magician Mike Messer was making balloon animals and doing tricks.

Over in the children's area, magician Mike Messer was making balloon animals and doing tricks.

Claire Williams from West High School was helping out with that.

Claire Williams from West High School was helping out with that.

The Chi Omega sorority was painting faces. This artist is Kathleen Carlson.

The Chi Omega sorority was painting faces. This artist is Kathleen Carlson.

Casey Ulrich also showed her artistic flair.

Casey Ulrich also showed her artistic flair.

The Chi Omegas made a special request to meet Haslam and he complied. That's Kathleen Carlson on the left and Emily Richards on the right.

The Chi Omegas made a special request to meet Haslam and he complied. That's Kathleen Carlson on the left and Emily Richards on the right.

Congressman Duncan's daughter, Whitney Brown, and her family: Jason, her husband, and kids Emma, McClaiine and Harper. They were in line to get in the children's area.

Congressman Duncan's daughter, Whitney Brown, and her family: Jason, her husband, and kids Emma, Maclain and Harper. They were in line to get in the children's area.

Awww! Jason Brown and daughters McClane and Emma.

Awww! Jason Brown and daughters Maclain and Emma.

The Drifters were a huge hit as the musical finale.

The Drifters were a huge hit as the musical finale.

Hahaha! This lady joked that she was trying to add a little glamor to the event. She's C.J. Morgan, and entertainer at Country Toniite in Pigeon Forge.

Hahaha! This lady joked that she was trying to add a little glamor to the event. She's C.J. Morgan, an entertainer at Country Tonite in Pigeon Forge.

Meanwhile, Duncan was still in the receiving line! And so were his fans.

Meanwhile, Duncan was still in the receiving line! And so were his fans.

As a final touch, search lights circled the sky as we left.

As a final touch, search lights circled the sky as we left.

These folks proved that practice does indeed make perfect - at least as far as political events are concerned!

These folks proved that practice does indeed make perfect - at least as far as political events are concerned!

3 Responses to “Duncan Family Barbecue: Political picnic on steroids”

  1. What fun – can’t wait til precious granddaughter is old enough to take!! But – PLEASE – where could I get a Cas Walker for President T-shirt???!!! Did not know they existed – would love to add it to my collection!!
    Thanks for the great Blue Streak

  2. Hey, Glo! You know, I’m not sure where he got that. It didn’t look all that new! Ha!

  3. That’s the Duncan BBQ a cross section of Knox County. He always has a well planned event with something for everyone. This was one of his better ones.
    R. Larry

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