News & Events

Get Ready for the Smoking in the Foothills BBQ Competition on Oct 19-20


October brings many fabulous things to do in Lenoir NC as well as the other towns of the Blue Ridge Mountains, from dreamy crisp fall days to our traditional and much-loved festivals.  This October 18-19 brings Lenoir’s Smoking in the Foothills Barbecue Competition and Festival. Attendance to this BBQ Festival continues to grow year by year.  No surprise since this festival is filled with amazing Southern BBQ, and a competition with many of the best BBQ chefs around.  BBQ festivals across the country are centered around the mouth-watering traditions of the Carolinas, Texas, Kansas and Missouri.  Spice rubs, thick sauces and even dips loaded with seasonings all play a role in the outrageously authentic and finger-kicking good BBQ.

If you’re searching for quintessential things to do in Lenoir NC, just remember that it doesn’t get more professional and downright delicious than this family-friendly event in downtown Lenoir.  Whether you love live music, raffles, the wood crafter’s showcase, or some of the purely fun activities and tournaments for children and adults, there is most definitely something for everyone.  This festival is a North Carolina State Championship Event, and is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society.  That means fierce barbecuers cook up their ribs like nobody’s business!  With four categories of competition—chicken, pork ribs, and pork and beef brisket—you can pick your favorite meat and recipe to compete for the $20,000 prize.  Rest assured, KCBS judges and professional cook teams attend this esteemed event each and every year!

Stay tuned!  Professional BBQ Competition Schedule to be announced for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  If you don’t feel quite ready to BBQ with the best of the best, then come and study the art of the smoky pit.  Ask questions about what sort of wood gives that perfect flavor, or how the ribs are cut, and don’t forget about the fun part–sample different recipes to see what tastes best to you!

General Schedule:

Friday, October 18

5pm—Festival event opens; opening remarks by Mayor Gibbons & board members. Smokey Barrel Beer & Beverage Garden opens.  Cash Cow 50/50 raffle ticket sales begin.
5:30pm—Live music on Downtown Stage; Andrew Massey & the Midnight Americans.
6pm—Cook Team BBQ People’s Choice—WINGS!  This event continues while supplies last!
8pm—Live music continues on the Downtown Stage—The National Reserve.
9:30pm—Smokey Barrel Beer & Beverage Garden closes.
10pm—Festival closes…see you tomorrow!

Saturday, October 19

10am—Festival opens to the public; opening remarks by Mayor Gibbons; poker run registration.
10:15—live music begins on Downtown Stage—the Harris Brothers.
10:30am—Poker Run begins.
11am—Smokey Barrel Beer & Beverage Garden opens.
11:30am—Cook Team BBQ People’s Choice—Pork! This event continues while supplies last!
12-1:30pm—Turn-ins for BBQ Competition.
12:30pm—Live Music continues on Downtown Stage—The Bryan Anderson Project.
2:45pm– Live Music continues on Downtown Stage—Chad Triplett & Two Lane Blacktop.
3pm—Fling the Wing Cornhole Tournament registration begins.
4pm—Fling the Wing Cornhole Tournament begins.
5pm—KCBS Competition Awards Ceremony on the Downtown Stage.
7pm—Live Music continues on the Downtown Stage—Jim Quick & Coastline.
8pm—Cash Cow Raffle, Foot in the Door Scavenger Hunt, and Fling the Wing Cornhole Tournament winners announced.
9pm—Event closes—see you next year!

And don’t forget the Cornhole Tournament now in its fourth year and taking place in the parking lot across from the 1841 Café.  The cost is $25 per team with 50% of proceeds going to the festival for local charities and the other half providing the cash prizes:
• 1st Place—50% of cash payout
• 2nd Place—25% of cash payout
• 3rd Place—15% of cash payout
• 4th Place—10% of cash payout

Workshops at the festival are another popular draw every year.  The festival works hard at preserving the strong tradition of craftsmanship, and especially the highly-regarded furniture industry of the region.  This year Chris and Janet Aiken will be leading an AikenControls Plant tour at 1028 West Avenue NW in Lenoir for those who want to learn about all the new technology behind today’s fine furniture.

The residents of The Coves Mountain River Club enjoy the good life in their gorgeous homes in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains.  Panoramic views of the majestic mountains just never gets old.  And what makes The Coves an idyllic spot is the blend of nature and things to do in Lenoir NC.  Proximity to so many charming and culturally-rich towns in the region means not having to travel far when you’re looking for great food, recreation or entertainment.  The folks at The Coves have no trouble finding award-winning BBQ whether they attend the annual festival in Lenoir or gather for their own intimate cook-off.

Visit The Coves this fall and bring your appetite to the BBQ Festival!

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