Festival Trifecta This Weekend

Looking for something to do this weekend?  Whether you head east or to the heart of the state, you’ll find yourself deliciously close to barbecue.  
The Pork Jam 2010 BBQ Festival takes place about 45 minutes north of Greensboro in the little town of Pelham.  The event is scheduled for Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 pm. Located at 4895 Old US 29 in Pelham, the event benefits the community by supporting the Pelham Volunteer Fire Department.  There will be arts and crafts (over 50 vendors in ’08 and ’09), kids’ games/rides, face painting, hay rides, clowns (run for your lives, children!), door prizes, and live gospel, rock, country, beach, and bluegrass music. Oh yeah, and there will be fresh BBQ and stew served all day long and cooked by the volunteer firemen.  Free admission and parking. For more info or to be a vendor (if it’s not too late), please email porkjam@bellsouth.net.
A little ways to the north and west, the 2nd annual Future Legends of BBQ festival takes place in Flat Rock on Saturday. The event features a youth cooking competition (meaning the youth do the cooking, not get cooked, I think), along with live bluegrass, face painting, appearances by barbecue celebrities like Mike Mills, and more.  Admission is $5.
Meanwhile, down in Rocky Mount the Eastern Carolina BBQ Throw Down, a part of the Down East Festival, celebrates its third year.  The KCBS-sanctioned cooking competition runs from Friday through Saturday. Related events include cooking demonstrations, people’s choice judging, BBQ for sale (of course!), a beer garden, music and more.  The event is free to the public. Visit the website for more info, including a complete event schedule. Also, see the Governor’s proclamation, in which Gov. Perdue proclaims October 8-9 “as the EASTERN CAROLINA BBQ THROW DOWN in North Carolina and urge[s] all citizens to commend its observance.”  Better not disobey the Governor, even if her last name is synonymous with poultry rather than pigs. 

Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown

The 2009 Throw Down trophy: holy hog, Batman!

The 2009 Throw Down trophy: holy hog, Batman!

Thanks to a reader, D, for pointing out that coming soon is the annual Eastern Carolina BBQ Throw Down in Rocky Mount.  Honestly, I have no idea how I missed ever hearing about this event until now.  Thanks D, it looks great.

The Throwdown, formerly known as Pignatius, is part of the 28th annual Down East Festival, which is put on by the City of Rocky Mount’s Parks & Rec Department.  This year’s Festival will be held on Friday, October 9th and Saturday, October 10 in downtown Rocky Mount, and includes music, a beer garden, arts and crafts, and… barbecue. 

 Indeed, the Throw Down portion of the event is an official Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned cookoff that will feature around 50 teams.  Judging solely by the quality of their names, some of the teams to beat are: Grog N Hogs, Lazy Ass BBQ Crew, Two Old Men and a Grill, and Pickin’ Porkers.  Items that will be judged in competition include chicken, pork ribs, pork and beef brisket.  Why a BBQ competition in Eastern NC needs to fool around with anything but whole hog barbecue is beyond me, but that’s how the folks from the Kansas City Barbecue Society roll, like it or not.

Governor Beverly Perdue, who evidently doesn’t have enough to keep her busy what with the state’s budget and economy in shambles, has signed a proclamation endorsing the Throw Down and urging “all citizens to commend its observance.”   I am not really sure what that means, but it’s from the Governor so it’s official.  Plus, since Gov. Perdue has spent much of her life down east in New Bern, NC, she probably does have some affection for Eastern-style ‘cue, though I doubt she plays it up to much when campaigning west of Raleigh…