BBQ Festivals Bring Sampling of Flavors

You can attend a barbecue, where you might eat hamburgers and hot dogs or BBQ. And BBQ can be chicken, beef, or pork. You definition of BBQ often depends on where you live. So what can you expect at an Upstate SC BBQ festival?

Competitors and other food vendors will be offering their best dishes. You'll get to try vendors' different flavors, which could include ribs in a spicy dry rub with sauce on the side or chicken slathered in Carolina Gold. Other sauces could use ketchup or vinegar as a base. In addition to BBQ, many vendors provide dessert and options for non-BBQ fans.

To get a sample from many of the competitors, participate in a festival's people's choice award. You'll have a chance to try the competitors' best BBQ. Then stick around for the festival's awards to see if your favorite competitor won and who takes home the biggest prizes!

After the awards have been presented, stick around for live music or fireworks at your local festival. Music generally includes local and regional acts throughout the weekend event. Mauldin's BBQ and Family Festival include live music every night with bands such as Underhill Rose and The Bad Popes.

Family-oriented festivals include areas with activities for children. The Squealin' on the Square festival in Laurens even includes a petting zoo and rides! There might also be arts and crafts for sale, along with live demonstrations, at your BBQ festival. For those in the Union area, your daughter might want to enter the Miss Uniquely Union Pageant.

If you want to experience a BBQ festival from the inside out, consider volunteering for the Sooie't Relief BBQ Benefit or sign up to be a BBQ judge.

To see what is offered at your nearby BBQ festival, check out the schedule and links below:



Dates                           Festival                          City

Aug. 23-24       Sooie't Relief BBQ Benefit     Greer, SC
Sept. 13-14      Uniquely Union                       Union, SC
Sept.  20-21     BBQ and Family Festival        Mauldin, SC
Oct. 4-5           Squealin' on the Square           Laurens, SC

*Photos provided by Caroline Robertson of the Sooie't Relief BBQ Benefit and Gabe Hunter of the BBQ and Family Festival.

Jamie Gillenwater works as a technical communication consultant for Transcend Text, LLC. Her writing focuses on her Upstate community, technical communication, and corporate training. She serves as the chairperson for Connect Young Professionals, is an active member of the Society for Technical Communication's Carolina chapter, and participates in the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce Women's Leadership Council.