Smoke on the Water coming up this weekend

Published 4:55 pm Monday, October 17, 2016

From SOTW organizer Pam Anderson

With Hurricane Matthew and its effects to soon be behind us here in eastern North Carolina, the Washington (noon) Rotary Club is pleased to announce that the 19th annual Smoke on the Water BBQ and Chili Contest will be held on Oct. 22, and all festivities other than the dragon boat races are on schedule. There will be some of the best pig cookers from across the state participating in this year’s two cooking competitions. The Gas Cooking Competition and the Traditional Cooking Competition State Finals for those who cook with wood and charcoal.

Some of the special events will be a fire engine pull, live music provided by the Squier Red Band, Victor Hudson, Caroline Dare and Kaleb Skirko, a classic car show and more. There is a special Kids’ Zone for young kids with rides and storytelling.

BBQ sandwiches will begin being sold at 10:30 a.m. and tailgate packages that have BBQ, slaw and buns will be available as well. There will be a drive-thru location at the corner of West Main Street and Stewart Parkway by the caboose for those who can’t get downtown but still want some award-winning barbecue.

If BBQ is not your thing, then be sure you get to the chili tent early to sample all the contestants’ recipes. You can either buy a bowl and drink for $5 or get three tasting cups and a drink for $5.

Festivities will take place along the beautiful Pamlico River, in downtown Washington. The Smoke on the Water festival is one of the Washington (noon) Rotary’s major annual fundraisers, and all proceeds are given to local non-profit groups like the American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Club, Young Life, Ruth’s House (domestic violence shelter), the Marion L. Shepard Cancer Center, Beaufort County Police Activities League, Eagle’s Wings (food bank), Zion Shelter and Kitchen, Washington High School’s Junior ROTC, Little Washington Sailing School, Bright Futures, Boy Scouts, Purpose of God Annex, Beaufort/Hyde Partnership for Children, Toys for Tots and more.

The festivities actually begin on Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. with the City’s final Music in the Streets of the year, sponsored by the Washington Harbor District Alliance, which features live music on Main and Market streets and great sales by area merchants. The Smoke on the Water festival gets kicked off Friday evening with the much anticipated Pig Parade. Festival hours on Saturday are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, call 252-944-6136 or visit online at