Postgame video highlights, so to speak, from the 29 annual Barbecue Festival in Lexington. Visit the Lexington Dispatch for the video, and links to other Festival videos. Lots of (in?)action shots of people eating barbecue sandwiches…
According to PP&P’s organizers, the festival will feature “a BBQ cook off and pie competition, live music, costumed interpreters at our historic site, local arts and crafts vendors, and a mock Tobacco Queen pageant.”
Better yet, the winner of the pageant “will make her debut in September at our Harvest & Hornworm festival.” I bet you can’t wait to put that on your resume, young ladies!
In all seriousness, the event looks like it’ll be a blast so check it out. Learn more on the Interwebs.
For those of you still living in the past–as past when Hillsborough Hog Day took place in late June–remember that the event moved to May as of last year… and will be held THIS weekend. The festivities kick off Friday night in suddenly almost-hip historic downtown Hillsborough, and the main shindig is on Saturday. Visit the website for details: http://hillsboroughchamber.com/hog-day/. Sure, the food is a bunch of mediocre, primarily gas-cooked swine, but it’s damn fun anyway so check it out. And don’t feel too bad if you pass on the BBQ sandwiches in favor of a giant turkey leg, gyro or other carnival food staple… or if you want some real, wood-cooked BBQ then make a short side trip to the Hillsborough BBQ Company just a few blocks west of the festival.
With a new year upon us, it is time for me to update the Events page of this website with hog happenings planned for North Carolina in 2012. If you know of a barbecue-related event coming up in the year ahead, especially if the event was not listed last year, please comment on this post or drop me a line at BBQJew at gmail.com. The more info you can provide about the event, the better. Providing a web address is helpful, but providing a free backstage pass, celebrity judging offer or other bribe is even better…
Saturday, October 22nd is the date of The Barbecue Festival in Lexington, which is far and away North Carolina’s largest barbecue-related event. Assuming the weather is nice, well over 100,000 people will descend on little Uptown Lexington for the day, making it perhaps the worst day of the year to visit unless you love crowds. While October 22nd is the big day, there are Festival-related events aleady underway:
-This past Saturday was the 20th annual Tour de Pig bicycle race, which was held the same day as Ridin’ Hawg Wild, an event for folks who prefer their bikes motorized.
-Archdale resident Tabatha Allred won the 2011 Childress Idol competition on October 2nd and will sing at the Festival.
-This coming Saturday the 15th will feature the Hawg Shoot high school air rifle competition (for those who don’t mind guns at school), the Hawg Run 5K, and the Barbecue Festival Golf Tournament.
-On the weekend of the Festival, competitive folks can participate in the 1st annual Barbecue Festival Cornhole “Throw Down” or the Barbecue Festival Softball Tournament. Personally, I think horseshoes would be a more appropriate pairing with barbecue but to each his own.
-Oh, and the Pepsi “Pig Tales” Creative Writing Contest is still accepting entries for all age categories through October 14th so if you have a burning desire to write fiction that includes mentions of barbecue and Pepsi then this is your chance to make your work pay off… category winners take home 20 cases of Pepsi products.
Finally, don’t forget to book at ticket on Amtrak for its once-a-year stop in Lexington. My family took the train to the event last year and were surround by fellow barbecue lovers, some from as far away as Long Island, NY.
If you’re like me–i.e., you’ve gone nearly 12 hours since you last ate barbecue–take comfort in the fact that you can get your ‘cue fix this weekend. Tonight and tomorrow in Lincolnton is the annual Hog Happenin’, not to be confused with the Wil King Hog Happenin’ in Kinston that took place way back in May, or the Hog Happnin’ in Shelby in November. According to the festival website, the Lincolnton event features “a regional bike fest and Kansas City Barbeque Society Sanctioned North Carolina State Championship Barbeque Cook-off that brings motorcycle owners and Barbeque teams together in downtown Lincolnton… While there are many hog events throughout North Carolina, Lincolnton was the first to combine the animal with the mechanical.” Hogs and Hogs, get it? Honestly, it took me a second…
The event draws close to 10,000 people to little downtown Lincolton, including volunteers from members of the Christian Motorcycle Association, Carolina Faith Riders, Freedom Biker Church. Who knew there were so many motorcyclists riding for the lord? I sure didn’t but good for them. Word on the street is that the Veggie Tales Vegan-Baptist Biker Society is sitting out the Hog Happenin’ but may return for the yam portion of the Ham & Yam Festival in Smithfield next year.
At any rate, the Lincolnton event is free and open to the public. Many more details online, and probably many more religious biker clubs I have not yet learned about.
Monday’s are never easy, but take solace that this coming weekend offers up a variety of barbecue-related festivities from the coast (well, almost) to the mountains (just barely) and all points in between (at least one). From west to east, this weekend’s hog happenings are:
-The 15th annual Firehouse Barbeque Cookoff, a Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned cooking competition held in the town of Kings Mountain, a little ways west of Gastonia or a little longer ways west of Charlotte depending on how you look at it. Among the 50-plus teams competing: Nekked Pig BBQ Team, Carpet Capital BBQ, Hill Rat Barbecue, B.S. Pitmeisters, Chatham Artillery BBQ, and Sue E Pig.
-Midway across the state in Raleigh, the third annual ‘Cuegrass Festival occupies the streets outside The Pit. The event features barbecue, music (not just bluegrass) and local and regional draft beers. The $5 cost of admission benefits North Carolina farmers.
-Finally, down east the 27th annual Pigskin Pig-Out Party takes over Greenville. According to the event website, the event “features East Carolina football, baseball, softball, along with live music, entertainment, barbecue, kids’ games and its famous Pig Cookin’ Contest.” There is also a golf tournament, carnival and more.
No if only it were Friday…
April marks the beginning of the barbecue festival season, which runs through October. The first event of the season was in Newport last weekend, but you have a chance to make it to the 2nd one THIS weekend. Drive on over to Goldsboro for Pig in the Park. The event features live music and other fun on Friday night, and then the serious business of a cooking competition on Saturday. Plates are available for sale to the general public early afternoon on Saturday, and there will be more live music, vendors and other good times.
The festivities take place in downtown Goldsboro, an area that has a lot of history and an impressive collection of historic homes, storefronts and train depot (now under renovation). Goldsboro has put a lot of effort into revitalizing its downtown, so show ‘em some love and pay them a visit. Plus, once you sample some Pig in the Park ‘cue you can have a 2nd meal at Wilbur’s or Grady’s or any number of other joints not too far away.
It’s getting awfully close to barbecue competition and festival season, so I’ve updated the Events page with all the latest info. If you know of a BBQ-related festival or similar event that I am missing please let me know. See the full list at http://bbqjew.com/events/
Breaking news out of historic Hillsborough, site of the annual Hillsborough Hog Day. One of the event’s organizers, Margaret Wood Cannell of the local Chamber of Commerce, wrote to share the following news:
“[W]e have changed the date of the 29th Annual Hillsborough Hog Day. We have historically held Hog Day on the third weekend in June, but the temperature on that day has risen an average of 7 degrees over the last 10 years. It’s just too danged hot. So, for the first time ever, we’re holding Hog Day on the third Saturday in May. The event will be held in River Park, right behind the Orange County Courthouse (exactly where it was last year) on Friday, May 20 from 6 to 9 pm and on Saturday, May 21 from 9 am to 6 pm.”
That is good news, IMHO, as I’ve sweat through far too many brutally hot Hog Days myself. When the temperature outside feels like the inside of a pig cooker it’s just plain too hot. Plus, I have always been surprised that one of the Elvis impersonators at Hog Day haven’t had a Presley-like heart attack on stage in the heat–sequined polyester jumpsuits are brutal, take my word for it.
On a related note, I’m behind on updating the BBQ festivals listing on this website but promise to do so fairly soon. Keep an eye on the Events tab at the top of the page…