NEWBERRY — It’s time to throw down once again as cooks put their cooking to the test at the 2017 Pork in the Park on April 22 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Harvey’s of Newberry is serving as a barbecue sponsor for this year’s Pork in the Park, providing the meat that is being cooked.
“When Pork in the Park originally started, it was just a few teams and everybody was local to the Newberry area. Then at some point it expanded, the name changed and then for the last four years it has been a sanctioned barbecue event, sanctioned by the Southern Barbecue Network,” said Mary Alex Kopp, City of Newberry Parks, Recreation and Tourism event coordinator.
A total of 15 teams are competing for the grand prize, ranging from first timers to competitors who eat, sleep and breathe barbecue.
“We’ve got at least one competitor who is competing for the first time in anything and we have others that are returning having won in previous years,” said Kopp.
There are three categories during the event including chicken, ribs and Boston butts. Judges will be looking for well-cooked meat, taste, tenderness and appearance.
The cookers will arrive the day before competition between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. and part of Main Street, the block around Community Hall and Memorial Park, will be closed down at 2 p.m. and throughout competition day.
Judging will take place at the Firehouse Conference Center, with double blind judging. Awards will be given out at 3:15 p.m. with first, second and third place for each category plus the grand champion. Third place will receive $150 and a trophy, second place $250 and a trophy and first place will receive $400 and a trophy.
The grand champion will be awarded $600 and a trophy.
“We provide containers to the judges that will arrive and the people on their organization committee will take those boxes where they will each be assigned a number. They’ll put the number on top of the box and then pass the boxes out. Numbers don’t necessarily associate with the number of the person’s food,” said Kopp.
Attendees are encouraged to purchase a sample ticket for $10 dollars a piece where they can go to each competitor and try a 1 oz. sample of their meat. As they navigate through competitors, they can have their ticket punched for as many meats as they sample. There is a limited number of 600 tickets, due to limited amounts of meat.
In addition to the smell and taste of barbecue filling the streets of Newberry, there will also be live bluegrass music in Memorial Park and free kids inflatables in front of Community Hall.
“It’s free admission. The children’s activities are free and you can come listen to the music for free. If you want to eat, that’s when you spend money,” said Kopp.
The Chamber of Commerce will also be set up with a beer wagon available for the public.
Main St. between Caldwell and Nance St., will be cut off to vehicles, Boyce St. will be temporarily blocked Saturday only from Caldwell St. to Nance St. Caldwell St. will be blocked in front of Figaro Market, between Main St. and Boyce St. McKibben St. will also be blocked between Main St. and Boyce St.
Money raised during the event will go towards Relay for Life.
Competitors for this year’s Pork in the Park are:
• Backdraft BBQ – Ladson
• Bane’s Old Skool ‘Cue – Chappells
• Biggy Boys BBQ – Newberry
2016 Grand Champions
2016 3rd Place in Boston Butt
2016 1st Place in Ribs
2016 3rd Place in Chicken
• Boar’s Nest – Little Mountain, SC
2016 1st Place in Boston Butt
2016 1st Place in Chicken
• Butts and Thighs BBQ – Newberry
2016 2nd Place in Boston Butt
• Coach Green’s Kickin’ Pig BBQ – Greer
• Doko Smoke – Blythewood
• Esso B’s BBQ – Newberry
• Fully Involved – Newberry
• Good Time Grillers – Leesville
• On the Spot BBQ – Greenwood
• Rubbing Butts – Greenwood
2016 2nd Place in Chicken
• Steelhorse Smokehouse – Prosperity
• Two-5 Catering – Newberry
• Wink’s BBQ – Greenwood
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.