Goldsboro’s Pig in the Park This Weekend

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.

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The Year in Re-‘Cue

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 https://bbqjew.com/events/

Hillsborough Hog Day Has A New Month – May!

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…

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.

27th Annual Barbecue Festival This Weekend

It’s that time of year again, time for hordes of hungry hog lovers to descend on little Lexington and devour thousands of pounds of barbecue.  Yes, the Barbecue Festival takes over the streets of downtown Uptown Lexington on Saturday for the 27th time.  The annual event often draws more than 100,000 people to Lexington, a town of just 20,000.  The Festival culminates a month full of events, including the Tour de Pig bicycle race and the Hawg Shoot air rifle competition.  For a complete schedule of Saturday’s happenings visit the entertainment section of the Festival website

This year the Festival was once again named one of the southeast’s Top 20 Events for October, a distinction that would be more impressive if there were more than 19 events taking place in the region this month.  Just kidding, The Barbecue Festival is a terrific event and worthy of its Top 20 status. I hope to see you somewhere along Main Street on Saturday. I’ll be the guy wearing the grease-stained BBQ Jew t-shirt…

BBQ Events This Weekend

If you’re in the Triangle area this weekend you could do worse than checking out one of these two BBQ-themed events.  First, in Cary (yes, that Cary) on Friday and Saturday is the traveling road show called the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival.  Or, if you are looking for something with a little more of a downhome sophisticate flair, swing by The Flying Saucer in Raleigh on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. for a pairing of Hogwash beer with barbecue.  Twenty bucks gets you five 5-oz pours of Fullsteam Brewery beers and a heaping plate o’ ‘cue.  (A tip of the snout to BBQ Dave for pointing this event out.)

Social Netporking Comes to Lexington

The Barbecue Festival in old timey Lexington has joined the new world of social networking, or netporking as I prefer to call it.  According to Lexington’s daily The Dispatch, “When the 27th Annual Barbecue Festival happens Oct. 23, participants and attendees will be able to ‘tweet’ about it in real time and upload photos and videos on the festival’s new Facebook page.”  Given that everything from the grilled cheese sandwich to watching paint dry has a Facebook page devoted to it, I’m not sure that the Barbecue Festival’s venture into the social networking world is newsworthy, but that’s just my opinion.

You can check out the Barbecue Festival’s brand spanking new Facebook page for yourself if you want to become a “friend” of the large-scale event.  Or if you want to be friends with a smaller, closer knit group of barbecue fools, you can become a friend of The BBQ Jew Crew on Facebook.  Or, since Facebook friends are a dime a dozen, I guess you could choose to friend both the festival and The BBQ Jew Crew.  Like they say, you can pick your Facebook friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your Facebook friend’s nose.