Looking forward to the Pigs in the Park barbecue cook-off next weekend (MAY 1-2), but wish there was more than pork barbecue to eat? Then Friday night is your night. The Second Annual Anything Butt competition features, well, anything but pork barbecue. Participants include not only the barbecue teams participating in the cook-off, but also chefs from local restaurants and organizations.
Butch Kelly of Waxhaw was the big winner last year, taking first place in both main dish and side dish with shrimp shish kebobs and broccoli salad, but the Gordon Girls took the top prize in desserts with a Hershey cake.
Entries are judged in three categories:
* Main dish
* Side dish and dessert
* The public chooses the People’s Choice
The real winners may be the public, who can purchase a ticket for $5 and sample entries in the competition.
“It’s like a buffet,”
explained Linda Smith of Union County JobReady Partnership, the non-profit organization organizing the Anything Butt competition. “You can sample foods from meat to seafood to wonderful desserts – all for just $5.”
Tasting and voting in Anything Butt competition is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday. A limited number of tickets is being sold. Call Linda Smith at (704) 289-5223 or Annette Kilby at (704) 292-2505 to purchase an advance ticket. Remaining tickets will be sold at the event.
There are lots of other festivities for the public on Friday, too. While sampling the Anything Butt entries, visitors also can wander through the barbecue sites at Belk-Tonawanda Park, watching the barbecue teams prepare their pigs for all-night cooking.
Friday visitors also can enjoy a free concert by the band Summerdaze from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. as well as amusement rides and food for purchase.
A Friday night showmanship division is another side event of Pigs in the Park. Judged by community representatives, this competition pits barbecue teams against each other in the decoration of their site.
“Kelly took the showmanship trophy last year, but it was a tough call”
according to Tonya Edwards of Monroe Parks and Recreation. “Some of the decorations were very creative,” she said. “This is a great time for the public to come out and see the teams in action as well as the creatively decorated sites.”
Barbecue competitors will set up their cookers in the park on Friday afternoon, receive their 100 to 125 pound pig to cook and settle in for a long night of marinating, seasoning and slow cooking.
Teams are competing for prize money, trophies and bragging rights in two divisions – culinary and showmanship. The culinary division is the big competition and follows N.C. Pork Council rules, with two categories of judging. First, certified judges will conduct on-site judging. Afterwards, competitors will chop and season their barbecue for the blind tasting by community judges. The combination of the two scores determines the winner.
Judging for the barbecue starts at 7 a.m. Saturday, with full barbecue plates on sale from 11 a.m. until sold out. Barbecue tickets are $7, and proceeds benefit JobReady Partnership. To purchase barbecue tickets, call or purchase on-site.
Pigs in the Park
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Friday 6 – 10
Amusement rides & food vendors 6 -10
FREE concert by Summerdaze 7 – 9
Anything Butt competition 6 – 8
BBQ showmanship competition 7 – 8
Saturday 10 – 3
Amusement rides & food vendors 10 – 3
FREE community entertainment 10:30 – 2:30
Goodtime Cloggers 10:30 – 11
Sardis Sound 11 – 11:30
Shizzam (rock band) 11:45 – 12:30
Fish Road Band (70s & 80s) 1 – 2:30
BBQ sale 11 until
BBQ Cook-Off awards presentation 11:30
Ticket sales benefit New Century Scholars & JobReady Partnership.
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