2008-09-24 / Local News

Festival changing dates; planning barbecue cookoff

By SCOTT POWELL Ledger Staff Writer spowell@gaffneyledger.com

Members of the Gaffney High club the Green Teens fill bags with trash and debris during a clean-up effort Saturday at Lake Cherokee. Members of the Gaffney High club the Green Teens fill bags with trash and debris during a clean-up effort Saturday at Lake Cherokee. Barbecue lovers will have a good reason to check next year's South Carolina Peach Festival schedule.

The festival is planning a barbecue cookoff as part of the 2009 event. The competition has been sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, the world's largest organization of barbecue and grilling enthusiasts.

The festival will hold a workshop later this fall to finalize the dates for the barbecue cookoff and other events, promotions chairman Richard Jones said. The festival is scheduled for July 10-19, 2009.

The Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctions and provides judges for almost 300 barbecue competitions in 44 states. The nonprofit organization will provide judges certified to judge all types of barbecue from St. Louis and Texas to Memphis and Carolina styles.

Teams travel across the country to participate in barbecue competitions in the categories of pork ribs, pork shoulder, beef brisket and chicken.

The South Carolina Peach Festival began discussing a barbecue cookoff last year.

In addition to the new event, board members have decided to move next year's festival back to July.

"The Peach Festival received a lot of feedback from the community about last year's festival," Jones said. "Community members told us they felt the peach festival belongs in July."

In addition to the barbecue cookoff, Starmax officials have confirmed they have already started contacting professional bowlers about participating in their second annual Pro Am bowling tournament during the festival.

The festival is currently reorganizing its board and has turned financial records over to accountant Jim Cudd, board chairman Carlton Bridges said. Cudd will present a financial report on the success of the 2008 festival at an October board meeting.

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