BBQ back in town: Festival opens at Harmon Field

Published 1:35 pm Friday, June 12, 2009

An interesting aspect of this festival is that it is the first sanctioned barbecue festival to &dquo;Go Green.&dquo; Three years ago, the festival committee pledged to reduce its waste by 75 percent. They had hoped to accomplish this by the end of the 2008 festival, but fell short by only 10 percent. So, according to the committee, this should be the year!

Barbecue and music, of course, are the main attractions. Around 80 cook teams from all over the United States will be competing for bragging rights and more than $20,000 in prizes and trophies. North Carolina teams will also be vying for the North Carolina State Championship. Festival goers can stroll through Hog Heaven to see the teams at work and perhaps pick-up some cooking tips. Several of the competitors will also have their award-winning barbecue for sale.

Music on two stages includes bands &dquo;from Austin to Boston,&dquo; says Musselwhite, and runs from noon to 11 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday. Main stage headliners include Ryan Montbleau Band and Lil&squo; Malcolm & the Zydeco House Rockers on Friday night.&bsp; Saturday features Eilen Jewell, Seth Walker, and Randall Bramblett Band. Regional artists include Peter Karp, Dehlia Low, Peggy Ratusz and Daddy Longlegs, Gigi Dover and the Big Love, the Shane Pruitt Band, and more. &dquo;Where else are you going to go to see this scope and caliber of music on two stages for $6?&dquo; asks Musselwhite.

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Other highlights at this year&squo;s event include a Ducky Race down the Pacolet River, a motorcycle poker run from Greenville Harley-Davidson to the Festival, beach bingo, and more‐including the spectacular fireworks display to close the festivities each night. &bsp;

The Blue Ridge Barbecue &&bsp; Music Festival is conducted each year by the Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce. Some of the proceeds from the event help support the chamber operations and the balance goes into the Carolina Foothills Chamber Foundation for distribution to a variety civic and charitable organizations throughout the county. For more information, times and directions to the festival, and a coupon for $1 off Friday&squo;s admission, visit