By Morgan Bryce
Staff Reporter

Celebrate America’s birthday with barbecue, drinks, and music at the Freedom Day Pig Pickin’ July 1, in the lot behind John Emerald Distillery and Red Clay Brewery.
Hosted by Butcher Paper BBQ, an Opelika-based barbecue catering company, eating options will include a whole hog, brisket, chicken, and several sides including smoked macaroni and cheese and grilled corn.
Red Clay and John Emerald will be offering their specialties during the event, and entertainment will be provided by the local blues-rock band Black Majik.
Mark Coxwell, Opelika native and owner of Butcher Paper, started the business in 2016. Participating in events like Concourse South and the Old 280 Boogie, Coxwell said he has been successful and is planning to use the proceeds from the Pig Pickin’ to build a food trailer to help his business continue to grow.
“There’s a decent amount of barbecue around here, but it’s all fairly similar. What we have is unique,” Coxwell said. “I like to take cues from all different styles of barbecue, so it’s not all set the same way. I like to try different things and be creative.”
Coxwell asks for those who want to come to sign up and buy their tickets early on Butcher Paper’s Facebook page, so he can prepare an adequate amount of food for the event.
Advance tickets, which can be found at, cost $15 per plate and $30 for all you can eat, and at the door for $20 per plate and $35 for all you can eat.
For more information, email Mark at The event starts at 7 p.m.