The Big Country Barbecue Cook-off will have mouths watering across the Key City this Friday and Saturday at the Red Dirt Pavilion in Buffalo Gap. Bring your best BBQ game face and be prepared to square off against other local meat lovers in competition for the best chicken, brisket, pork spare ribs, and more! This cook-off is officially sanctioned by the Lone Star Barbecue Society and will over cash prizes, door prizes, games and music. Free admission to event and $100 cooks fee.  Cook-off goes from 6-9 Friday night and 8 am to 3 pm Saturday. Visit www.lonestarbarbecue.com to learn more.

Enjoy historic downtown Abilene and the music of the legendary piano man, Mike Schuler this Friday from noon to 1 pm in Minter Park. “Picking in the Park featuring Mike ‘Piano Man’ Schuler” is brought to you by the Friends of the Abilene Public Library and admission is free! Call 325-793-4697 for more info.

Join the American Heart Association with the 2012 Abilene Heart Walk this Saturday at 11 am at Nelson Park. Registration begins at 9 am and the walk at 11 am, but that’s not all! Come for a morning of fitness and fun with music, awards, balloons, Pet Zone, Kids Zone and more. This annual non-competitive 5K walk raises funds to support cardiovascular research and educational programs for the Abilene community. Walk to honor someone you love, walk for your health, but just try to walk! Me? I’ll be walking for my Daddio on the Radio who spends his life protecting the hearts of those he loves, but gave us a heart scare of his own a few years ago. Register online at abileneheartwalk.org or call 888-433-7228×2643.

This Saturday, grab your bike and gear up for a 10, 25 or 50 mile ride for “Bike for Kids’ Sake” benefitting Big Brothers Big Sisters. Enjoy scenic rides through the most beautiful parts of Taylor County.  Riders begin and end at Wylie High School and pre-registration is required. Cost varies by date. Call Michelle Parrish at 325-674-3115 to learn more.

Dance under the stars at the Abilene State Park from 7-930 pm. Bring your friends and family to enjoy the outdoors, West Texas concessions and the live music of the Muddy Creek Band. Coast is $5 for ages 13 and older and includes free park admission. Proceeds benefit projects and activities at our State Park. Call 325-690-6355 for more information.

Gear up for Halloween by putting the oooooo in spoooooky with the Buffalo Gap Historic Villiage Coast Tours this Saturday and next starting at 8 pm. Cost is $10 for all and we hear it’s an evening you will never forget…even if you want to! Call 325-572-3040 with any questions.

Former First Lady, Laura Bush will be at the Abilene Civic Center this Tuesday at 6:30 for “An Evening with Laura W. Bush,” benefitting Global Samaritan Resources. Here her thoughts on humanitarian work and providing for people in need. Cost caries. Call 325-232-9527 to find out more.