LEXINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — Preparations are underway in uptown Lexington. Workers are gearing up for thousands of people who are estimated to attend this year’s Lexington Barbecue Festival on Saturday.

Roads in uptown are already starting to be blocked off for tomorrow’s event.

There are four local barbecue restaurants participating in the 39th annual festival. There will be a total of nearly 10,000 pounds of barbecue ready for people. it is cooked the night before, so it will be served fresh at the festival.

“Today, we got to get the meat cooked, which is probably the hardest part. 200 shoulders … they’ll probably be done six in the morning, and we’ll start chopping them up,” Stamey’s Barbecue of Tyro Manager Matt Stamey said.

There will be three barbecue tents set up along South Main Street for the Lexington Barbecue Festival.

Participating restaurants are Smokey Joe’s Barbecue, The Barbecue Center, Stamey’s Barbecue and Speedy’s Barbecue.

They’ll begin serving around 10 a.m. and will serve hot dogs and the event’s namesake: Lexington-style BBQ.

“I’d say it’s camaraderie between all the other restaurants … who are pitching in the good of trying to get this done,” Stamey said.

Many restaurants prepared sides like coleslaw and the signature Lexington-style barbecue sauce “dip” earlier in the week. They prepared them while still serving customers at their restaurants.

With the help of dozens of employees and volunteers, they are working to get hundreds of pounds of barbecue cooked and chopped in time for the festival.

“We have to get quite a bit of slaw and dip, and we take that uptown and a refrigerated truck, and then we bring the barbecue up Saturday morning around 8 a.m. in Cambro’s containers … which keeps the barbecue hot, so it’s a lot of work for everybody,” Speedy’s Barbecue Owner Roy Dunn said.

They look forward to the business it brings to the city.

“I think that day, all restaurants reap the benefits … Everybody’s busy, so it’s a good day. It’s a good day for business in uptown. If you’ve never been here before, you can always come back,” Dunn said.

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Several street signs are placed around uptown Lexington for road closures and detours around uptown Lexington for the barbecue festival.

In addition to barbecue, there will also be bands and vendors.

A map is available on the festival’s website.