Bluegrass fans will again have the opportunity to enjoy plenty of barbecue in downtown Raleigh during the Wide Open Bluegrass festival.
The N.C. Pork Council’s whole hog barbecue championship will be Friday and Saturday. The public can wander down to the parking lots at the corner of Fayetteville and Lenoir streets to see the barbecue competitors’ set-ups. Teams will start cooking their hogs Friday night and have their barbecue judged Saturday morning.
Teams compete for a $2,000 top culinary prize, a $200 crispy skin award and a $500 top prize for showmanship, or how well their spaces are decorated. A fun Friday night activity is to see how the barbecue teams compete for the showmanship prize. One previous winner created a small theater with bluegrass musicians performing inside.
The competitors’ barbecue will be for sale at around 11 a.m. Saturday on Cabarrus Street between Salisbury and McDowell streets. Graduates, staff and volunteers from the Raleigh Inter-Faith Food Shuttle’s culinary job training program will serve the food. A sandwich and a side of coleslaw will cost $5. Quarts of barbecue also will be available to take home. Proceeds will benefit the nonprofit’s hunger-relief efforts; last year’s sale raised about $20,000.
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There also will be two special dinners this weekend. From 5-9 p.m. Friday, chef Matthew Register of Southern Smoke BBQ in Garland will be serving barbecue, baked beans, potatoes, coleslaw and yeast rolls. Tickets cost $15. To buy tickets, go to nando.com/ct2dinner.
From 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Linwood Parker and White Swan Bar-B-Q in Smithfield will serve traditional Eastern North Carolina barbecue, coleslaw, hushpuppies and banana pudding. Tickets cost $15. To buy tickets, go to nando.com/ct3dinner.
The dinners are being held on Cabarrus Street between the Red Hat Amphitheater and Fayetteville Street.