Look for BBQ Festival on “WSSL Trax” Saturday night

Published 5:10 pm Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Blue Ridge Barbecue & Music Festival Committee had a cookout Tuesday for WSSL, WESC&bsp; and WMYI radio stations in Greenville. Shane Blackwell from Mountain View BBQ & Deli did the cooking for a crowd of about 60 people to help promote the Festival. WSSL radio morning show personalities Beth Bradley and Bill Ellis were on hand to interview the Tryon group about the Festival while WSPA-TV cameras were rolling. Excerpts from the interviews will be aired during the &dquo;WSSL Trax&dquo; television show at 11:30 this Saturday night.

Tuesday&squo;s event sprang from the committee&squo;s desire to increase awareness of the Festival in the Greenville market. Festival Chairman Dale Musselwhite suggested doing a cookout for the employees of the Clear Channel Radio group there as a way of getting them more excited about the Festival. &dquo;We thought if we gave them a real taste of what goes on here in Tryon, they&squo;d talk it up more. They&squo;ve always supported, us and we advertise with them; we just wanted to push it up a notch,&dquo; the chairman said.

So, back in March, Entertainment Coordinator Peter Eisenbrown and Advertising/Public Relations Chairman Brenda Bradshaw went to Clear Channel with the offer to provide a really delicious barbecue lunch for employees of all four Clear Channel stations in Greenville. To everyone&squo;s surprise, according to Bradshaw, the event just took off. Clear Channel decided they&squo;d rather have their radio listeners enjoy the great food as a way of promoting the Festival and the stations. Then Bill Ellis had the idea of using the event on the &dquo;WSSL Trax&dquo; Saturday night television show.

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&dquo;What a great win for all of us,&dquo; said Bradshaw. &dquo;They held contests for listeners on each of their stations&squo; websites and gave away &dquo;free barbecue lunches&dquo; to ten lucky winners per station. So the stations got good will, we got publicity, and the opportunity to be on &dquo;WSSL Trax&dquo; is exposure we could not have been able to buy.&dquo;

The cookout menu included barbecue and all the trimmings. There were ribs, pulled pork and chicken, plus baked beans, slaw and potato salad. &dquo;We really appreciate the help from Mountain View BBQ. Shane and his crew just outdid themselves,&dquo; said Musselwhite. &dquo;The barbecue really represented the quality of the cooking we have here at the Festival, and the radio station people and their guests all came back for more&dquo;!

The Blue Ridge Barbecue & Music Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, June 13 and 14 at Harmon Field in Tryon. Gates open at 11 am Friday and 10 am Saturday and close at 11 pm both days. The Festival is conducted annually under the auspices of the Polk County Chamber of Commerce. Proceeds help support Chamber operations, and additional funds go to the Polk County Chamber Foundation to be returned to the community through distributions to a variety of programs and projects throughout the county. For more information and a coupon for $1 off Friday&squo;s admission cost, visit www.BlueRidgeBBQFestival.com.