Clear your calendar

Published 10:46 pm Thursday, October 18, 2012

Of the many delightful events held in Beaufort County each year, a handful rise to the “not-to-be-missed” stage — the East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival, Summer Festival and Smoke on the Water.
Next weekend, the Washington Noon Rotary will take over Stewart Parkway and the Washington waterfront to host Smoke on the Water.
The signature event, as always, is the barbecue competition. This year is exceptional because Washington is hosting the North Carolina State Barbecue Cookoff Championship in addition to the backyard competition. Following Friday’s pig parade down Main Street, pig cookers get to work all night hoping to create award-winning entries.
By mid-morning on Saturday, contestants in the chili cookoff will begin unveiling their best recipes vying for the $500 grand prize.
Both the barbecue and chili will be available for sale to the public, but don’t expect it to last long.
A highlight of the weekend should be the arrival of Elizabeth II, a reproduction of a 16th-century sailing vessel that would transport colonists to the New World. Making the journey to Washington from Roanoke Festival Park in Manteo, Elizabeth II is a square-rigged bark with three masts, the largest topping out at 65 feet.
In the air, you can expect to see skydivers from Trade Winds Sky Sports and a flyover from the USAF KC-135.
In the water, there is the Little Washington Sailing School Regatta and the Kayak on the Pamlico River.
Not to be overlooked, the Beaufort County Developmental Center returns with the very-popular Eastern Carolina Fire Engine Pull and the 13-member Atlantic Beach Fire Department Emerald Society Pipes and Drums.
Food, music and fun are on tap for a day that should not be missed. So clear your calendar now and plan to attend Smoke on the Water Oct. 26-27.
See Sunday’s edition of the Washington Daily News for a special Smoke on the Water section.