Blues Skies and Barbecue at 27th Annual Festival

The weather was damn near perfect last weekend when the 27th Annual Barbecue Festival took over the streets of Uptown Lexington.  My wife and kids joined me on the Amtrak from Durham to Lexington (the one time a year the train stops there), and we were joined by dozens of other barbecue-happy passengers.  We even met some New Yorkers on the train–they’d come down from Long Island to Lexington just for the Festival, which speaks to how big the event has gotten over the years.  (Of course, maybe they were just trying to drown their Yankees’ baseball sorrows.) 

And when I say the event has gotten big, I mean it.  The Festival apparently drew a record crowd this year, with “more than 200,000” people in attendance according to the inexact-yet-official estimate.  That estimate might sound like hyberbole but if you were there–and given how large a crowd it was I am guessing you were–then you’ll have no problem believing it.  It was CROWDED, folks.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many people in one place and I am not sure I care to again.  But I did enjoy myself.  And luckily I ate a BBQ sandwich before the tents sold out–at 4:00 p.m., two hours before the end of the event. 

For excellent photos of the Festival, visit the website of Lexington’s daily, The Dispatch, by following this link and clicking on the October 24th festival gallery.

6 Responses

  1. Porky… I’m glad you made it to the Lexington “Q” Festival along with 200,000 of my closest friends. Yes, we all got to be very, VERY close friends. I’ve attended about six of the festivals over the years and this was by far the most crowded. It actually got to be gritlock at the Main Square mid-day. However, everyone seemed to understand the problem and acted very politely.

    The crowded conditions aside, the festival was fantastic fun again this year. We really enjoyed the beach music supplied by Jim Quick & Coastline and the Band of Oz. My young grand-nieces were thrilled by the BMX stunt bike dudes doing back flips, the giant juggler on stilts, the big pink pig character and the kid’s percussion participation show.

    There was food EVERYWHERE of all descriptions… including “deep fried butter.” But the star of the show was the “Q”. Considering the volume (15,000 lbs) and the location where they served, the Lexington-style “Q” was excellent. The sandwiches were assembled on location and served wrapped in aluminum foil. They were warm, moist and loaded with delicious tender barbecue and red coleslaw. My only complaint was there wasn’t any Texas Pete in sight… which is heresy… and they were a sponsor!! Texas Pete is a prerequisite any where barbecue is served in North Carolina.

    Porky, hope to see you there with the rest of my friends again next year.

    “Eating no swine before its time.”

  2. I haven’t been to the Lexington Barbecue Festival in a couple years, as it usually occurrs on a weekend that I’m either working at a barbecue fundraiser or judging a barbecue competition. The last time I was at the festival it was OVER-CROWDED and there didn’t seem to be all that much barbecue related stuff.

    Just for everyone’s information and/or edification – Lexington is planning on hosting its FIRST (“Inaugural”) barbecue competition this coming April (4/22-23/2011) named appropriately: “BBQ Capital Cook-off”. This competition will be Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) sanctioned and my wife and I will be two of the Certified Barbecue Judges for the competiton. They anticipate MANY teams competing!

  3. Thanks for the comment. I agree on the over-crowding, it’s pretty bad. I too am excited about the new cooking competition in Lexington–long overdue, though I wish they’d gotten sanctioned by the NC BBQ Society instead of KCBS…

  4. It truly would have been a “feather-in-the-hat” for Jim Early and the NCBS to have been the sanctioning organization for the Lexington competition! And quite appropriate as well!

  5. Oh, one more thing, Lexington will host a KCBS CBJ (certified Barbeque Judge) training session on Saturday, 19 February. Cost is $75.00 and includes food. For more information contact the coordinator for the Lexington “Inaugural BBQ Capital Cook-Off” – Chad Hodges at: Phone: 336-249-0383. Fax: 336-224-1198.
    You will need to be a KCBS CBJ in order to judge this competition.

  6. Thanks for sharing Another_Q, I’ve been searching for that class and only found it offered too far from home. Good news!

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