2009-06-10 / LifeStyles

16th annual Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival set for two-day run June 12-13 in Tryon, N.C.

Barbecue teams compete for N.C.barbecue championship
By SCOTT POWELL Ledger Staff Writer spowell@gaffneyledger.com

Nestled in a valley in the Blue Ridge mountains, the Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival will feature championship-quality barbecue this weekend.

Festival-goers can have their choice of delicious barbecue from the many teams offering their food for sale. Festival-goers can have their choice of delicious barbecue from the many teams offering their food for sale. About 80 barbecue cooking teams will compete for more than $20,000 in prizes and trophies in the 16th annual barbecue festival June 12-13 at Harmon Field in Tryon, N.C.

Gates open at 10 a.m. both days. Admission is $6 for adults. Children age 12 and under are admitted free with a paying adult. Admission includes shuttle parking and all live entertainment.

The barbecue cookoff is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society.

The event is the North Carolina State Barbecue Championship. The Governor's Cup will be awarded to the highest scoring North Carolina team.

"In addition to the Governor's Trophy, what that team really wins is bragging rights," festival chairman Dale Musselwhite said. "Winning the N.C. state championship is considered a major achievement in a state so rich in barbecue history."

The Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival is held each year by the Carolina Foothills Chamber. Some event profits help support the chamber operations while other funds are distributed annually to charity and civic organizations.

Festival goers can walk around "Hog Heaven" to watch the barbecue teams at work.

Many teams sport names as original as the special barbecue recipes prepared for judges.

The "Culture on the Cobb" team has two Jamaicans, a Navajo Indian, a Viking and a Isreali involved in making southern BBQ. The "Sue E. Pigg" is a team of Clemson professors known as "Swabby Joe," "Dead Eye Dewey" and "Radio" Rick.

Other interesting barbecue names of note include Big Bad Wolf Barbecue, Smack Yo Mama BBQ, Texas Rib Rangers and P & C Smok-A-Holics.

Cool Smoke, last year's defending champion, is among several competition teams which will offer their awardwinning barbecue for sale.

The festival is offering barbecue sandwiches, hot dogs, drinks and other food at family-friendly prices. In addition, children can enjoy unlimited rides in the Children's Fun Park for $10 on Friday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

"After this year, we could all use some fun that doesn't cost a fortune — and that's exactly what you are going to get at the Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival," Musselwhite said.

There will be music on two stages on Friday from noon to 11 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday.

The Ryan Montbleau Band and Lil' Malcolm & the Zydeco House Rockers will headline Friday's concerts. The entertainment on Saturday features Eilen Jewell, Seth Walke and Randall Bramblett Band.

Other highlights at this year's event include a Ducky Race down the Pacolet River, a motorcycle poker run from Greenville Harley Davidson to the festival, beach bingo and a fireworks show ending each day's festivities.

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