2011 BBQ festival a success

Published 11:35 am Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Julie Miller of Columbus sang the “Star Spangled Banner,” and the Polk County Memorial Honor Guard presented the colors during opening ceremonies at the Blue Ridge BBQ Festival June 10. (photo submitted)

The 2011 Blue Ridge Barbecue & Music Festival is over and Harmon Field is once again back to use ball games, dog walking and river watching.

But on June 10-11, the field was host to almost 90 cook teams, 38 craft tents, 90-something classic cars, nearly 100 motorcyclists, many Rubber Duckie Race hopefuls, carnival rides and games and performances by some great musicians.

“We don’t have a headcount yet,” said festival chairman Chuck Britton, “but as festivals go, this was a good one.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

We probably didn’t break any records, but we did well. It ran smoothly and everyone seemed to be having fun.”

When it was announced last year that the festival would be canceled, area residents objected. Many stepped up to play a role in seeing the annual event continue last year, and many were holding their breath to see how it would go this year.

“All I can tell you for sure,” said Britton, “is that we’ve got a good thing going, and we’ll be back next year. This festival is good for our area; it brings people together in community service, it attracts new people to Polk County and surrounding areas and it has a huge financial impact.”

Julie Miller, a sixth-grade math and language arts teacher at Polk County Middle School, was on hand early Friday to participate in the opening ceremonies.

She sang “The Star Spangled Banner” a cappella. Afterwards, she said, “What a wonderful experience! It was obvious from the beginning and throughout the event that the organizers knew what they were doing. It was no fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants operation; this was something that they had been planning and working on for months and months. Everything was presented in the spirit of fun, but conducted like a business. The committee had taken the time to give serious thought to what people would want – what would make them want to come, and then made sure it was worth their while once they got here.”

Miller had plenty of time to observe how the festival functioned as she also performed with Project X on the Main Stage on Saturday, June 11.

There were many winners associated with the festival.

Cook team winners
In the main competition between the cook teams, cash awards were given from first to 10th place in each Kansas City Barbecue Society category of cooking and, of course, to the top 10 overall scorers. Cash prizes also went to winners in the new potato salad contest, as well as in the Anything But and dessert competitions.

Jeff Campbell’s Wicked Que team from Watkinsville, Ga., earned top honors finishing with 682.2854 points, 8 points more than runner-up Governor’s BBQ of Hildebran, N.C.
Tuffy Stone’s Cool Smoke team from Richmond, Va., the 2008 Blue Ridge champions, placed third, with Good Ole Boys Country BBQ of Cherryville, N.C., and Bub-Ba-Q of Jasper, Ga. rounding out the top five. Bub-Ba-Q recently won the “Ultimate BBQ Showdown” competition on CBS.

Good Ole Boys Country BBQ of Cherryville, N.C., led by Gary Borders, captured the Governors Trophy, awarded to the top North Carolina team in the event. For a complete listing of the top placements in all categories, visit BlueRidgeBBQFestival.com.
Rubber Duckie River Race winners

Cooking was not the only contest with prizes. There were also cash winners in the Third Annual Rubber Duckie River Race and, as luck would have it, a brother and sister won first and second places. Prizes went to the following people:

1st place – Lawson Carter – $500
2nd place – Rollins Carter – $250
3rd place – Doug Clements  – $150
4th place – Ryan Straney – $75
5th place – Avery Boyer – $25

Hawg Run winners
Then there were the Hawg Runs – these are motorcycle poker runs in which competitors pick up one playing card where they start their race, make three stops on their way to the festival picking up three more cards. They get their final card at the festival, and the best five-card poker hand wins.

This year there were two separate contests, one originating in South Carolina and the other the North Carolina. The South Carolina winner was Frankie Billington, who drew an ace-high flush, 4, 7, 9, King, Ace. The North Carolina winner was Ronnie Riff of Hendersonville, who drew three queens. Each winner took home $500.

Drawing winner
Finally, there was the winner of a Kingsford Sierra Smoker donated by Academy Sports in Spartanburg in the chamber of commerce raffle.

Kim Kay, who is in the process of relocating from Fairview, N.C., to Tryon, was the winner. It was her first visit to the festival.

The festival is conducted annually under the auspices of the Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce. Proceeds from the festival help support chamber operations, and additional proceeds go to the Carolina Foothills Chamber Foundation to be returned to the community through distributions to a variety of charitable and civic programs and projects throughout the county. Funds are generated by an admission fee, contestant entry fees and sponsorships.

For further information, call the festival office at 828-859-RIBS (7427) or visit BlueRidgeBBQFestival.com.

2011 BBQ festival results
1. Wicked Que, Jeff Campbell, Watkinsville, Ga., 682.2854
2. Governors BBQ, Nashville, Tenn., 674.2854
3. Cool Smoke, Richmond, Va., 670.2856
4. Good Ole Boys Country BBQ, Cherryville, N.C., 666.8572
5. Bub-Ba-Q, Jasper, Ga., 666.2854

Governor’s Trophy (N.C. championship – highest scoring N.C. team)
1. Good Ole Boys Country BBQ, Gary Borders, Cherryville, N.C., 666.8572
2. Carolina BBQ Company, Hildebran, N.C., 660.5714

1. Chatham Artillery BBQ, Bill Anderson, Savannah, Ga., 172.5714
2. Good Ole Boys Country BBQ, Cherryville, N.C., 170.8572
3. Go For Smoke BBQ, Huger, S.C., 170.8570
4. Pickin’ Porkers, Clemmons, N.C., 170.2856
5. Smoke This, Hickory, N.C., 170.2856

Pork ribs
1. Bub-Ba-Q, Bubba Lattimer, Jasper, Ga., 175.4286
2. Carolina BBQ Company, Hildebran, N.C., 173.7142
3. Kilted Kilby, Easley, S.C., 171.4286
4. Fire-N-Smoke, Rosman, N.C., 170.8572
5. Too Bad You’re My Cousin, Greenville, S.C., 170.8572

1. Wicked Que, Jeff Campbell, Watkinsville, Ga., 174.8572
2. Blindog’s Outlaw BBQ Gang, Huntsville, Ala., 173.7142
3. Fire-N-Smoke, Rosman, N.C., 172.5714
4. Sauced! BBQ, Mount Holly, N.C., 172.5714
5. Uncle Chet’s BBQ, Atlanta, Ga., 171.4286

1. Two Old Men And A Grill, Bessemer City, N.C., 178.8572
2. Good Ole Boys Country BBQ, Cherryville, N.C., 177.7144
3. Governors BBQ, Nashville, Tenn., 177.7142
4. Wicked Que, Watkinsville, Ga., 174.2856
5. Smokin’ Peaches, Cumming, Ga., 172.5714

Potato salad
1. Craggy Mountain Smokers, Stuart McManus, Asheville, N.C., 178.2858
2. Carolina BBQ Company, Hildebran, N.C., 177.7144
3. The Three Blind Hogs, Greenville, S.C., 173.7144
4. Que’n, Stew’n & Brew’n, Kennesaw, Ga., 173.7142
5. Sauced! BBQ, Mount Holly, N.C., 171.4286

Anything But
1. Wood Chicks BBQ, Lee Ann Whippen, Chesapeake, Va., 180.0000
2. Foothills Mountain BBQ, Columbus, 179.4286
3. Cannon’s BBQ Hut, Spartanburg, S.C., 179.4286
4. Tarheel Smokers, Hertford, N.C., 177.1430
5. The Three Blind Hogs, Greenville, S.C., 176.5716

1. Que’n, Stew’n & Brew’n, Scott Smith, Kennesaw, Ga., 178.8572
2. Culture on the Cobb, Tryon, 177.7142
3. Sauced! BBQ, Mount Holly, N.C., 177.1430
4. Mountain View Barbeque, Columbus, 174.2856
5. Foothills Mountain BBQ, Columbus, 172.0000

Whole hog
1. Kings Cooking, Chip Davis, Shelby, N.C., 168.0002
2. Blind Pig Sugar Shackers, Columbus, 162.8572
3. Lazy Hazy Crazy, Tampa, Fla., 162.8568
4. Uncle Mac’s BBQ Cru, Charlotte, N.C., 160.5714
5. Texas Rib Rangers, Denton, Texas, 158.8570