Lawrenceville officials have made two big announcements concerning their annual barbecue festival at the Lawrenceville Lawn.

One is that Grammy-winning country music singer Joe Diffie will be the headline musician for the event, which will take place Sept. 14.

Getting a Grammy-winner would by itself be a major announcement, but the city also announced a big shakeup for the annual barbecue festival. The event long known as Rock’n Ribville has a new name designed to reflect a new format: Rock’n the Ville’s Car-B-Ques & Brews.

“In the tradition of Rock’n Ribville, Car-B-Ques & Brews will bring together incredible live entertainment, classic cars, fun and games for the kids, cold-beverages and mouth-watering BBQ of all kinds as the City of Lawrenceville celebrates another amazing year in Gwinnett’s County Seat,” city officials said in an announcement.

In the past, the event has drawn large crowds, with city officials expecting about 15,000 attendees at this year’s event. In addition to enjoying barbecue and music on the Lawrenceville Lawn, those attendees will also get to check out a display of classic cars that is new this year — and also the inspiration for the new name.

But music will remain a big part of the event, with multiple musicians performing this year, leading to up Diffie’s performance.

Diffie is a member of the Grand Ole Opry and his 20 Top 10 singles include 13 No. 1 country songs, including “Home,” “Pickup Man,” “Third Rock from the Sun” and “John Deere Green.”

Diffie’s 13 albums have generated more than $6 million in sales.

Other musicians expected to perform at the event include R&B Inc. and Loganville native Jordan Rager.

The deadline for vendors to sign up to participate in the event is Sept. 1 and applications can be found at

As far as the car show portion of the event is concerned, the city is encouraging car owners to make donations to the Gwinnett County Veterans Resource Center in lieu of paying registration fees. Anyone interested in displaying their car in the show can sign up at

The event will be presented by U.S. Auto Sales, and the city is partnering with KICKS 101.5, ROCK 100.5 and Q99.7 and Bud Light on live radio broadcasts throughout the day.

Other sponsors for Car-B-Ques & Brews include Consolidated Pipe & Supply, McCray’s Tavern on the Square, Eastside Medical Center, First American Bank & Trust, Peach State Federal Credit Union, Precision Planning, Inc. and Renasant Bank.

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta. I eventually wandered away from home and attended the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg, Miss., where I first tried my hand at majoring in film for a couple of years. And then political sc