The Six Year Old and I hit the Southern National BBQ Championship & Bluegrass Festival at Boone Hall yesterday. For the barbecue fan, the festival is a Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned event and drew dozens of professional and amateur team for the chicken, ribs, pulled pork, and beef brisket contests. For the music lover, there was a steady stream of bluegrass bands playing from an old stage. And, for the fathers of Six Year Olds, there were ideal festival conditions: a beer truck and three jump castles.
A Few Finishing Touches
Competitors Delivering their Entries to the Judges' Tent
We started off with a little quality time at the jump castles, then got some cold drinks and strolled down the long isle lined with RVs and tents and all the contestants with their barbecue rigs. I got a chopped-pork plate with slaw and baked beans and ate it while the Six Year Old took another turn at the jump castles. Then we sat under the shade of a tree and took in a little bluegrass music.
The pork plate was okay, but the real fun started when the MC at the bluegrass stage announced, "there's a rumor that some of the competitors are now sampling." That's the signal I was waiting for. We made the tour of the rigs again, me with a fork and a little paper plate to scarf up the bits of pork shoulder, beef brisket, and chicken that the contestants put out for free. By the time we made it to the end of the aisle, I was starting to limp a little and was halfway into a smoked-meat induced haze. I recovered under the shade of the big oaks while the Six Year Old made one last tour of the jump castles. And then home for a good, long nap.
Sampling: The Best Part of the Day
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Update 8/28: Lowcountry Foodie has some great pictures of the Southern National BBQ Championship, including a chat with Grand Champion Myron Mixon.