What’s new at the 2011 BBQ

Published 4:23 pm Friday, June 10, 2011

In addition to everything visitors have come to expect from the Blue Ridge Barbecue Festival – barbecue of all types, live music, a wide range of crafts, rides and fireworks – this year’s festival will offer some unexpected surprises.
“Every year we try to do something new,” said Brenda Bradshaw, advertising/PR coordinator. “You keep the tried and true but you try and shake things up just a little bit.”
Classic Car Show
One of the most prominent of the new features this year is the Classic Car Show, sponsored by McCurry-Deck Motors of Forest City, N.C., and hosted by the Carolina Classic Car Club of Spartanburg, S.C. Participants will bring their restored classics for display, hoping to win prizes. Organizers originally planned for a maximum of 120 cars, Bradshaw said, but there has been so much interest from car owners that they increased the maximum to 200 cars.
Potato salad competition
In a culinary competition making its debut at the barbecue festival this year, cookers will create their best potato salad in hopes of taking home a chunk of the $1,100 in prizes. Sponsored by Reser’s Fine Foods, the potato salad contest offers $700 for first place, $300 for second and $100 for third place. Entries will be judged using KCBS standards and Certified Barbecue Judges. Teams can sign up during the cook’s meeting.
Cooking demonstrations
Would-be cookers can grab tips from barbecue competitors and other cooking artists this year at a series of demonstrations focusing on specific dishes. Justin Hembree of Fine Swine (also Tryon’s town manager); Bill Milroy of Texas Rib Rangers; Paul Dale of Foothills Mountain BBQ; Bubba Latimer of Bub-Ba-Q; Marshall Watkins, AM Sous Chef at Gerhard’s Restaurant in Spartanburg, S.C., and Shane Blackwell of Mountain View BBQ in Columbus will demonstrate their methods for preparing various meats. See the table above for the schedule. The demonstrations will be given on the infield at or near the top of the oval (away from the main stage area).
Second Hawg Run added
In addition to the motorcycle poker run called the Hawg Run to Fun from Greenville, S.C., to the festival grounds at Harmon Field, another Hawg Run from Black Mountain to Harmon Field has been added this year.
The Hawg Run coming from the south begins at the Harley-Davidson at 30 Chrome Drive, just off Woodruff Rd. in Greenville and is sponsored by Cherokee Trikes & More. The run coming from the north starts at Phil’s BBQ Pit at 701 N.C. Hwy. 9 in Black Mountain.
Riders draw “playing cards” at several checkpoints along a predetermined route. A prize will be given for the best poker hand. The entry fee includes one admission to the festival. For more information, call 864-457-6530 or check www.BlueRidgeBBQFestival.com.
New lower-cost ride, meal options
Organizers this year added a new economical ticket option for rides. Families can purchase tickets offering unlimited rides during two sessions either Friday or Saturday. One session runs from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and the other runs from 4:30 – 11 p.m.
Families also have more options to keep their meal costs down this year. In addition to all the barbecue food options, the Red Cross will have hamburgers and hot dogs for sale.
“We wanted to make it easier for a family of moderate means to come and enjoy the festival,” Bradshaw said.
Also, this year active-duty military personnel will be admitted free of charge.
Opening ceremonies
For the first time, the festival will begin each day with an opening ceremony at the main stage, presented by the local VFW and American Legion posts. The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. on Friday and at noon on Saturday. “The Star-Spangled Banner” will be performed by Julie Miller on Friday and Susie Kocher on Saturday.
Two drawings this year
Two prizes will be given away through drawings this year. In addition to a Kingsford Sierra Smoker grill, a large basket of products and merchandise from participating cookers will be given away Saturday evening. Winners do not have to be present at the drawing.

Cooking demonstrations
1 p.m.    Justin Hembree, Fine Swine (also Tryon’s town manager), will prepare Boston butt
2 p.m.    Bill Milroy, Texas Rib Rangers, will prepare ribs
3 p.m.    Paul Dale, Foothills Mountain BBQ, will prepare chicken
4 p.m.    Bubba Latimer, Bub-Ba-Q, will prepare brisket

2 p.m.    Chef Marshall Watkins, AM Sous Chef, Gerhard’s in Spartanburg, S.C., will prepare grilled salmon w/ pineapple salsa
3 p.m.    Justin Hembree, Fine Swine, will prepare Boston butt
4 p.m.    Shane Blackwell, Mountain View BBQ, will prepare brisket

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