Boone Hall hosts the annual BBQ & Bluegrass Festival this weekend on the grounds of the historic plantation. While it may be disturbing to watch someone’s mother place in the mechanical bull-riding contest, mouth dripping with barbecue sauce, there is something immensely satisfying about hanging out on a plantation eating pork products.
Amateur ’cue chefs are invited to enter their barbecue in the contest, which will be judged by representatives from the Kansas City Barbecue Society, the South Carolina Barbecue Association, and the Georgia Barbecue Association. While lowly event attendees won’t be able to sample the competition barbecue, local vendors like 82 Queen and Home Team BBQ will have booths selling food.
The fact that there will be a dunk tank set up in order to soak a selection of local celebrities throughout the day is reason enough to go — the fact that it benefits the American Red Cross is just a perk. But if you have something against idol torture, there is a jump castle to play on, as well as a variety of carnival games and, of course, a mechanical bull riding competition ($10 to enter, $5 just to ride).
For many, the main draw is the various nationally recognized bluegrass acts playing the event, with highlights Ricky Skaggs and the Carolina Chocolate Drops (pictured). —Preston Bernstein