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Byron's population could balloon from about 5,000 people to more than 50,000 this weekend when Georgia's Dukes of Hazzard Reunion comes to town.

That's according to estimates by event organizers.

It's the largest event there since the legendary "Byron Pop Festival" attracted upwards of 350,000 people who crowded the Middle Georgia Raceway in 1970 to see the Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King and Jethro Tull among others.

Businesses in Byron are believers too. They're stocking up on staff and food. People looking for hotel rooms this weekend are being turned away.

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Even the out-of-town vendors are busy getting ready.

Jeff Stalvey and the boys traveled from Hayhira to set-up a tent at the Middle Georgia Raceway, where the event will be held. They stocked enough funnel cakes to feed the masses.

"I'm expecting the biggest show I've ever done in my life," he says.

He booked his hotel early.

"Thank God. I heard yesterday there are no hotels available," he says.

He's right too.

Hiren Parmar at the Comfort Suites says they sold out a month ago.

"We are completely booked as of now for Friday and Saturday," he says.

The neighboring hotels reported "no vacancy" too, Parmar adds.

It seems to be proving estimates by the organizers correct, which has other businesses hard at work preparing for the crowds.
John Cox at Georgia Bob's in Byron has bulked-up on staff and his barbecue stock.

"We've heard some pretty phenomenal numbers for tickets sales," he says. "It's gonna be great for the city of Byron, and this whole little area here."

But it's daunting too.

Dami Tollison, who works at Bobby's, says, "I'm really anxious, really nervous. I'm wondering if were going to be able to handle it or not."

Bobby's is the food mart just outside the event's gate.

"We got a lot of extra stock, a lot more beer, a lot more water, a lot more Powerade," Tollison says.

She hopes it's enough.

But for first time event, at venue that's sat empty for years...

"You really don't know. You come in blindly," saysStalvey.

In the end, everyone is hopingthe profits taste as sweet as the food they're selling.

The Middle Georgia Raceway is located at 4015 Hwy 41 N. in Byron. That's off I-75, exit 149.

Children six and under are free, and senior citizens 65 and older will also receive free admittance.

The three-day event is highlighted by the appearance of many original cast members from the "Dukes of Hazzard" TV show but includes a performance by David Allan Coe, a classic car show, helicopter rides, monster trucks and family-friendly attractions for the kids.

General admission advanced tickets are $20 for one day and $25 at the gate. A multi-day pass purchased in advance is $35 and $40 at the gate. Tickets are available at the Byron Welcome Center and the Big Peach Antique Mall in Byron.

Concert Lineup

Friday, March 8, 4 p.m - 11 p.m.
Concert: David Allan Coe performs at 5 p.m.

Saturday, March 9, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Concert: Ben Jones & Cooter's Garage Band and Confederate Railroad

Sunday, March 10,10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
The LACS, A2Z and Rusty Williams perform

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