PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – People swarmed to McKenzie Park in downtown Panama City to take part in the “Red, White, and BBQ” Memorial Day Weekend event.

The event is hosted by the Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center and the city of Panama City.

The proceeds from this event will go towards putting an end to child abuse by helping fund the free services the advocacy center provides.

Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center Volunteer Coordinator Shannon Rodriguez said she is thrilled by the turnout as this is only the event’s second year.

“We have had a lot of people. It’s been a great turnout,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a gorgeous day and we couldn’t ask for better weather. And of course with Memorial Day weekend with so many visitors and people traveling and everybody just coming through with the farmers market. They have been amazing in partnering with us.”

The event featured all kinds of backyard BBQ activities.

There were multiple BBQ cookoffs, a cornhole tournament, live music, and plenty of local vendors.

“I have been in the military for 9 years and I think this is probably one of the better events that I’ve been to,” event-goer Brandon Hilton said. “Panama City has really bounced back from the hurricane. I came right after the hurricane. I saw how bad it was, so to see them bounce back and everybody come together, especially as a team is really good so I really love it. I really appreciate the city and giving back all the time is really good.”

Rodriguez said she was happy to see the community come together for this event.

“With COVID and all the things, we weren’t able to intertwine and be together. I think everybody is loving just coming out, hanging out, the weather, the live music, and the good food. Can’t beat BBQ, everybody loves BBQ so it’s just been a great event,” Rodriguez said.