Pig in the Park barbecue festival will benefit local Boys & Girls Club
By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on April 4, 2010 1:50 AM
Barbecue fans will get to sample local specialties like Murphy's sweet tea, Scott's barbecue sauce and McCall's coleslaw, plus plenty of pit-cooked pork, at the first annual Pig in the Park barbecue cook-off Saturday, April 10.
The main course of barbecue will be cooked up at Old Waynesborough by 15 teams of amateur barbecue chefs all vying for the top trophy -- and bragging rights -- of what organizers hope will become one of the region's premier barbecue festivals.
But the real winners of the Pig in the Park cookoff will be the children of the Goldsboro Boys and Girls Club. All proceeds from the event will go to help the club members, Boys and Girls Club board vice president Rick Sumner said.
The idea for a barbecue fundraiser grew out of a statewide meeting of Boys and Girls Club officials. Boys and Girls Club Development Director Jo Heidenreich, Travel and Tourism director Betsy Rosemann and Boys and Girls Club executive director Mary Ann Dudley were among the organizers who have worked for months to complete preparations in time for the early April event, which will combine two of the area's most well-known aspects, Sumner said.
"When you think of Goldsboro, it's kind of known for its history and its barbecue tradition," he said.
All proceeds from the $5 plate sale, including fresh-cooked barbecue from the cookoff teams and side items donated by Murphy's, Scott's Barbecue, McCall's and Franklin Baking Co., will go toward helping the Boys and Girls Club's mission of keeping children off the streets.
The Boys and Girls Club pays about $500 per person to provide services to the more than 1,500 Goldsboro area children who participate in sports, activities and after-school programs at the club. Total operating costs exceed $75,000 a year.
The club has conducted its annual pancake breakfast fundraiser, held the first Saturday in December, for more than 30 years. In time, organizers hope Pig in the Park will become just as successful, Sumner said.
"There have been barbecue events before in Wayne County that have kind of come and gone. This is the first year, but we're really trying to put together a five- to 10-year plan and hope this goes on for 32 years like our pancake breakfast," he said.
The planners sought to keep the event locally focused this year, so all of the barbecue teams and sponsors are local. However, in the future, the cookoff might expand to encompass a greater area and could even include a regional division in addition to a local division. And the organizers are already working to make next year's Pig in the Park even bigger, Sumner said.
"We're expecting 500 to 1,000 people out there," he said.
The Boys and Girls Club is not the only group that could benefit from the cookoff. The organizers wanted to introduce the club into the community, but also create an event that would bring focus onto Old Waynseborough.
The cookoff will bring more visitors to Old Waynesborough, where the event will be held this Saturday. About 4,000 people a year visit the park to view the living history demonstrations and to get a glimpse of what life was like for early North Carolinians. The Pig in the Park event could bring an additional 1,000 visitors to the park in a single day, Sumner said.
"We think by having an event there, it's good for tourism, potentially good for greater Goldsboro, but also good for the Boys and Girls Club and educate people on what we do," he said.
Besides the chance to pick up a plate, people will get to enjoy live music by local bands The Mighty Saints of Soul and Spare Change. Vendors will sell additional drinks and snacks. Activities for children including face painting and historical demonstrations by Old Waynesborough volunteers are also planned.
Sam's Club is the grand sponsor of the event, with many more local businesses partnering with the Boys and Girls Club to help make the cookoff a success. The club is also working with Wayne/Goldsboro Travel and Tourism and sponsored by Franklin Baking Co., Chevrolet-Cadillac of Goldsboro, Goldsboro Pediatrics, Southco Distributing Co., Pizza Inn, Mt. Olive Pickle Co., Goldsboro Neon Sign Co., Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Lantern Inn Restaurant, Wayne Community College and more than a dozen other local businesses to make the cook-off a success.
The cook-off will begin early in the morning for the barbecue cookers, with winners expected to be announced by noon. The gates open at 9 a.m. for the public to shop with the arts, crafts and food vendors, and the plate sale will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Mighty Saints of Soul will perform beginning at noon and Spare Change will take the stage at 2 p.m. The N.C. Governor's Highway Safety Program will also provide a 53-foot custom trailer that includes seven interactive driving simulators and offers driving lessons in English, Spanish and French. Pizza Inn will be selling pizza for non-barbecue fans.
Attendees are strongly encouraged to purchase a $5 ticket in advance to reserve their plate of barbecue, two sides and a roll. Drinks are also available for purchase for $1. Contact Rick Sumner at 920-5246 or Jo Heidenreich at 735-2358 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase tickets prior to the event.
Teams signed up to participate in the whole-hog cook-off include BB&T, Boy Scouts Tuscarora Council, Chevrolet Cadillac of Goldsboro (CCOG), Goldsboro Fire De-partment, Goldsboro Milling Company, Goldsboro Police Department, Group W, Haulin Hog Team, Oak Brook Apartments, Old Pirates Barbecue Team, P.U.L.S.E. -- Wayne County Chamber Young Professionals, Sam's Club, Seegars Fence Company, and two teams from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.
In the event of rain, Pig in the Park will go on as scheduled at the rain location, the Boys and Girls Club on Royall Avenue in Goldsboro.