Spicing up Smoke on the Water

Published 12:36 pm Friday, August 27, 2010

Staff Writer

Washington Noon Rotary is seeking sponsors, volunteers and businesses to help with the 13th-annual Smoke on the Water festival, the highlight of which will be a highly aromatic — and flavorful — barbecued-pork competition.
“We’re using a lot of the talent from our Rotary club. We’ve got a number of them assigned to each of our individual committees,” said Spencer Stanley, who’s heading up the festival for Rotary.
Though the committee Stanley chairs has secured a number of volunteers, it’s trying to locate more helpers and a major sponsor for the festival, reads a news release.
Vendors are being sought for the two-day event, to be held in downtown Washington on Oct. 22 and Oct. 23.
Nonprofit groups may set up booths for $50 per booth, while businesses are allotted spaces for $100, said Catherine Glover, executive director of the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce and a Rotary volunteer.
Organizers also are asking volunteers to take part in the Parade of Pigs, which will open the festival during Music in the Streets at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 22.
“It is a parade, and it’s kind of like the kickoff for Smoke on the Water, because Smoke on the Water is all about barbecue,” said Lisa Woolard, executive director of the Beaufort-Hyde Partnership for Children and Rotary’s pig-parade chairwoman.
The pork procession wasn’t a part of last year’s Smoke on the Water, but it will return in grand style this year, Woolard indicated.
“What we’re looking for is folks to dress up or think creatively,” she shared. “We want people that want to come in costume or create a nonmotorized float.”
On-foot marchers and foot-powered modes of transportation are welcome, she said, adding that there is an application process for people hoping to show their pig pride.
“The Parade of Pigs is almost like a funeral march for the poor pigs,” Woolard remarked. “We are celebrating that those pigs are giving their life so that we all can have a good time.”
To find out more about the pig parade, call Woolard at 975-4667, ext. 3.
As always, barbecue will be the focal point of the festival, along with a chili cook-off, a classic-car show, a fire-truck pull, a 5-K race, a “Ducky Derby” and more.
According to Stanley, the Washington waterfront will play host to more than 15 “barbecue experts,” including a chef from Branson, Miss., who will cook a pig and enter the chili cook-off.
Also on the roster are several barbecue judges certified by the North Carolina Pork Council, he related.
This marks Rotary’s first year organizing the festival, Stanley said.
“I’m just excited about the opportunity,” he added.
Smoke on the Water is unique among area outdoor happenings because of the cook-offs and the usually mild fall weather, Glover said.
“I think it’s got the history there to continue to make it a great festival,” she commented. “Everybody likes it because it’s cool, it’s a pretty time of year. … We’re looking forward to watching it continue to grow.”
For more information about Smoke on the Water, call Stanley at 940-8769 or e-mail him at sstanley@bcdcsolutions.org.