It’s that time of year again when serious barbeque competitors work the competitive Bar-B-Que circuit to determine who’s got the best rubs, sauces, and smokin’ secrets.  Every year in the Southeast, one of the more popular BBQ competitions takes place in our nearby little city.  So as usual, we followed our noses to the origins of the sweet and savory aromas!

If you didn’t catch it this past June, the Food Network did a special on its “Challenge” show on barbecue competitions in my hometown of Greenwood, South Caroline.  The crew of the network brought all the cameras, lights, and journalists to cover the Annual SC Festival of Discovery BBQ Festival.  This was the 20th anniversary of this very successful foodie event and was endorsed by the Kansas City BBQ Society.  Teams came from Texas, Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, and Tennessee.  Folks take their BBQ VERY seriously around here!


People were just mingling and milling around trying to taste and savor all of the varieties of the vendors.

Here are a few pictures of the competitors’ humorous signs in front of or on top of their vendor tents.

From the great state of Georgia (above and below):



From the beautiful state of North Carolina (above and below):



Sounds good to me!  I need all of the help I can get!




and from the origin of BBQ, some of the South Carolina contestants:


Just look at these serious big rig smokers and grills that these folks haul around on the circuit!






Some serious competitors during the wee hours of the night!


And the winners received more coveted trophies to take home and ADD to their collections!


Foodie fans waiting to hear who the winners are this year!

Here’s one of the most perfect Southern pulled pork sandwich with a tomato-based sauce that we have ever had….we even went back the next day for seconds!  


But truthfully, our favorite sauce is the mustard-based BBQ sauce unique to South Carolina . . .  it is truly lip-smackin’ good!  We don’t care if this recipe was represented in this or any competition at all . . . we love our mustard-based Maurices’s of Columbia, South Carolina ANY DAY!



Here’s the web-site to order the famous Maurice’s SOUTH CAROLINA MUSTARD-BASED barbecue sauce and pulled pork:


We love Maurice’s mustard-based BBQ sauce so much that our family in Italy literally requests that we ship them more “Maurice’s” or that we pack several bottles with us when we visit them in Italy on a semi-annual basis!   My family cannot find South Carolina BBQ mustard-deliciousness anywhere in Italy!  NOT ONLY THAT, BUT OUR DAUGHTER AND HUSBAND INSISTED THAT MAURICE’s BBQ WAS PRESENT ON THEIR WEDDING RECEPTION BUFFET!  

We’re just suckers for potato shavings dipped in ketchup . . . not so healthy for us, but nothing was at this festival!


And funnel cakes always epitomize carnivals, fairs, and festivals.  This BBQ festival was no exception, so my hubby had his sweet tooth satisfied nicely!


I just had to give this Italian Ice a try. . . “Rita’s” is a common chain in many states and this strawberry ice sure hit the spot on what was another extremely hot summer day here in the South!  With this to help cool us off, we ended our lazy afternoon by simply sitting in the shade of a tree while a wonderful breeze blew in as we sat and listened to some cool live jazz and blues tunes.

Just a few more photos of other things that added to the flavor and atmosphere of the event:

A cute little piggy award for something that somebody won!

Overall, it was a yummy and enjoyable day for a lot of hungry, happy, and social people who love to sample and support great regional fare and some good live music. With a little kids amusement rides section, even a lot of kids had a good time.  And that’s always a good thing!
For a list of jazz and blues bands here’s the link: