Rain won’t clear out Smoke on the Water

Published 6:16 am Friday, October 24, 2008

By Staff
Beaufort County Idol postponed
Staff Writer
Amid swirling rumors of event cancellations and postponements, Smoke on the Water organizer Gary Tomasulo confirmed that the popular end-of-summer event is still on, rain or shine.
But the weekend-long event will be without the final round of Beaufort County Idol, said Tomasulo.
The finals have been postponed until Nov. 15 and will be held at the Turnage Theater at 1 p.m.
Tomasulo said that the finalists should be rewarded for their hard work during the competition’s preliminary rounds.
Tomasulo expects the turnout for today’s Music in the Streets and tomorrow’s Smoke on the Water to be down because of rainy weather and doesn’t want to put a damper on the competition.
The Idol finals, which was originally slated for Saturday afternoon, will feature 15 contestants.
Tomasulo said the finalists are “the best of the best.”
The finalists have been chosen from every Beaufort County Idol competition since this season’s first Music in the Streets in late April.
Tomasulo said he was grateful to the Turnage for agreeing to host the event on such short notice.
Tickets for the event are $5, with all proceeds donated to the Historic Downtown Washington Merchants Association and Turnage Theater Foundation.
Tomasulo sees some positives in moving the event to the Turnage.
Beaufort County Idol coordinator Jonathan Clayborne was disappointed about the postponement but also is excited for the Turnage to host the event.
The postponement also will afford Idol enthusiasts time to mark the event on their calender.
The event’s three original judges will remain on the panel for Nov. 15, which wouldn’t have been possible had the event gone on as planned Saturday.
Idol judge Patch Clark will be busy performing “The Jungle Book” with ECU’s Storybook Theatre at Smoke on the Water and the Turnage Theater Saturday.
Clark will be joined on the panel by playwright Stuart Aronson and composer Joe Sizemore. The event’s master of ceremonies will be Lee Drake, a local thespian.
The rest of the weekend is still on schedule, according to Tomasulo.
The weekend will kick off with Music In The Streets at 6 p.m. today. Along with the usual variety of musicians, including bluegrass bands, bagpipers, traditional musicians and rockers, MITS will host classic rides from Down East Rods and Classics.
While MITS is in full-swing, participants in the Smoke on the Water pig pickin’ contest will be prepping their hogs. The contest features 25 “professional” pig cookers.
From 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the cookers will be decorating their pickin’ areas with various themes. In past years, Tomasulo has seen cooking areas strewn with Halloween decorations and East Carolina University gear, among others.
After MITS, the weekend picks back up early Saturday morning when the pig pickin’ judging is held at 7 a.m. The judging, governed by the North Carolina Pork Council, will be conducted by three pickin’ pros.
The judges will present their results around 10 a.m. or 11 a.m.
At the conclusion of the contest, each participant will have pork sandwiches and pork by the pound available.
A chili cookoff will also be held, and it will be judged around 9 a.m. Saturday.