Thursday, March 13, 2014

Supporting BBQ Festivals #Barbecue #barbeque #BBQ Towns People Businesses Step Up

pork bbq
This is pork.
Barbecue Festivals: Why Communities Should Support Them

It's not often I talk politics but today I'm going to. It worries me that some of the well respected barbecue festivals and competitions have taken a year off in 2014 ; because I'm worried that some many not regroup or return.  I'm asking the community for their support and to understand just what these festivals are all about.

The Kansas City Barbeque Society is the largest non profit group of barbeque enthusiasts who teach hardwood smoking.  Okay, it's a group of grilling enthusiasts, but it takes an art of smoking on wood and not on propane or with electric grills. That can be hard.  Smoking meat to perfection takes time and practice and ten people can use the same cut of meat , have the same amounts of rub and spices and sauces set in front of them, and cook on ten different grills and based on wood, grill, way in which it's flipped or cooked, the meat it may taste completely different.  It's a sport or hobby and many teams consist of family or friends. To me, that's good clean fun! Not to mention people can become a CBJ Judge by taking judge classes and make a hobby of judging competitions, and that in itself is a fun past time. 

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What's in it for the Public? 


So the public comes to these events and sees the teams smoking it up. Kids love to see these big grills, they are not something you see every day.  Often there's entertainment/bands, sometimes beer, wine and kids activities, arts, crafts, vendors, and sometimes even a People's Choice where the public can buy samples, etc.   If the event is more than one day then quite possibly there's different activities on each day!   Just seeing some of the grills is amazing.

As well, some organizers hold the festival to give back to a certain charity or cause. For instance, Hog Happening in Shelby gives to the Children's Homes.  Hogging Up in Winchester this year is supporting the SPCA in addition to other local non profits including the Clear Brook Woodbine Church.

festival virginia
Here's a grill I saw down in North Carolina. See more here.


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From homemade grills to big expensive smokers, you can see them all. 

Lack of Town Official Support for the Small Organizers

Having a KCBS festival if you are individuals or private parties hurts for a few reasons, one, you aren't a government organization or town chamber of commerce who may be apt to obtain tourism rebates or grants for their contest. So the organizers are left forking the costs out themselves.  It is only with community support and patrons that the event can survive.  First off, I want to thank the patrons and barbecue lovers who do come out for supporting them, I know many of you attend these event religiously in search of eating yourself ribs and pork all day long....


In some cases, town officials make it very hard to have , hold and grow such an event.  Today I'm here to say SHAME ON THEM.  Some town codes or laws make it impossible for these events to grow and succeed.  I've seen great contests do battle with county officials year after year and eventually they are worn out and give up. We call this "tired of jumping through hoops." What I can't understand is why the struggle when the contests bring folks in from all over the nation to their towns, using their gas, staying in their hotels, or eating at the restaurants. To me, I'd want this commerce brought into my town as long as the event was run well.

Businesses Should Also Support Them

For local companies, supporting the festival in some way, shape or form is a great way to get your logo or product in front of the town in which you do business. That's great opportunities for direct marketing! Many of these festivals have programs or websites, and why aren't you in them or on them?


I'd like to add that I'm not talking about my own festivals, I'm very thankful the community and the town has worked with me on them, but then again, I'm not one so easy to give up.

So next time you hear of a bbq festival coming, please go check it out.  Some raise money for causes or charities and all take a ton of work to pull off.

Further Reading: 
Take a Judge Class in June
Great Fun Festival to Attend in May - BBQ Jamboree
Come to My Festival in June - Hogging Up
Come to My Festival in October - Hogging Up WV


Here's something:

Hogging Up BBQ Festival

Hey, this is new:
BBQ Store, Big Fat Daddys

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