Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Winchester Virginia The Power of Barbeque in a Small Town

When I picked a town to have my Music and BBQ festival (in conjunction with a KCBS competition), I knew it had to be Winchester, Virginia.  Nestled in the panhandle, the people and community are some of the nicest folks I've ever met in my life. I  have property in Gore, VA, and fell in love with the town of Frederick County from the first moment I saw it.  For decades I've been selling my texas beef and pork barbeque at the Frederick County Fairgrounds. The people have been good to me, and the fairgrounds a pleasure to deal with.  It's towns that you enjoy working with that you want to bring a good festival to.

Roger Engle Book Author

When my wife called back a KCBS judge, Roger Engle, she found out he had just published a book, about growing up in the small town of Hedgesville, West Virginia.  You can order the book, "Stories From a Small Town" here.  Not only were Roger and wife Gula and he an extreme wealth of information, they referred us to the "Around the Panhandle Magazine".

best magazine in west virginia

Mike and Victoria over at Around the Panhandle Magazine were instrumental in helping us get the word out about our festival and I'm glad to say they are sponsoring the event.  The best part of their magazine is you will never have to guess what's going on in the panhandle area. Simply grab a copy and stay abreast of all the small town happenings. We would also like to thank NVDaily who has always helped us out!
Pickin in the Panhandle Bluegrass Festival

Many of you may know that Pickin' in the Panhandle is a well established festival in West Virginia. I wasn't anticipating the help and kindness we received from Jennifer and the good folks at the festival over there.  They have helped us so much already!
Kirsten Sowers

We have lined up Circa-Blue and Stoney Creek Bluegrass to name a few, and we are just beginning. We also have 13 year old Kirsten Sowers (who has been writing music since she was 7) coming all the way from Central Pennsylvania just to help this cause.

I suppose the best thing I can say about barbecue, is that it brings people together.   To make you understand just how lovely the town folks are, I remember one year my truck broke down, My wife had a complete stranger, Dominic fix our truck in his garage across the way.   It didn't cross my mind that over the years I had given him some barbecue or discounts off his meal, as he was a regular at my stand.  That particular year, he didn't want to take money for fixing my truck because he remembered the times I fed him for free, which I had long forgot. It's just a community where you want to help each other.

I am so glad I am having Hogging Up BBQ and Music Festival in Winchester to help raise some funds for CancerCare. I plan on dropping free admission tickets all over town to local businesses. I hope the people of the area will help me spread the word.  Bringing a festival like this to the town (even a first year event) costs a pretty penny. We are pretty much fronting all the expenses to start, because for us, it's not about making money.  Our goal is to have the festival raise awareness for a cause that is important to us. CancerCare helped someone in our family, that we lost to colorectal cancer. We want to also give the town of Winchester something back (and fun to do!)

camera for bbq festival
Bring your camera gear, this MegaGear available here.

Of course, we must keep the competitors happy by bringing them a great barbecue competition. We know with Carol and Randy Bigler (our KCBS reps) we are in great hands! After all is said and done, we can feel good in knowing a portion of our proceeds went to charity.  Of course we'd love to have the festival start as a Grass Roots effort by having the town of Winchester spread the word.  We are pulling a lot of local talent from the Panhandle area and we are glad to have so much support in our cause.

Volunteers and Sponsors are still needed.  Looking for Country Artists and Crafters.  Please look at Hogging Up under Event Forms , or  contact my wife Cindy at 717-793-2124 or email us if you are interested. 

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