Where there’s smoke…

Published 8:12 pm Thursday, October 20, 2016

19th-annual BBQ festival set for weekend



The show will go on this weekend, as Washington (noon) Rotary hosts the 19th-annual Smoke on the Water barbecue and chili contest on the Washington waterfront.

“A lot of people were convinced that Smoke on the Water was canceled when the dragon boat races were cancelled,” said event organizer Pam Anderson. “It is going on. Please come down — we need your support now more than ever.”

Anderson referred to the main goal of Smoke on the Water: for Rotary to raise money to donate to many different organizations that provide services to the community, from the Salvation Army to Eagle’s Wings food pantry. Many of the organizations are stretched thin in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, Anderson said.

“Come down, buy extra barbecue, take it home and put it in your freezer,” Anderson said. “This is what Smoke on the Water is all about, because it all goes to charity.”

Anderson said there will be plenty of barbecue this year, with 37 pigs to be cooked in the two competitions: gas cooking and the state championship for traditional cooking with wood or charcoal. Chili competitors, at 20 contestants, are nearly doubled from previous years, she said.

For the most part, Anderson said Smoke on the Water will be business as usual: launching the event at Music in the Streets with the annual pig parade, in which “mourners” join a New Orleans-style second line funeral procession down West Main Street; continuing with showmanship judging, cooking through the night and barbecue and chili judging in the morning. Though there is no East Carolina University football game, barbecue tailgate packages will still be available for drive-thru pick-up at the corner of Gladden and West Main streets. The only changes in the schedule are the cancellation of water-based activities such as the dragon boat races, duck races and skydivers landing in the water, she said.

“The events that are in the water are not happening because of the contamination (from the flooding),” Anderson said. “Those things are pretty new for the past several years and they’re a great addition. We’ll miss them.”




Friday, October 21

5 p.m.                                         BBQ chief cookers meeting at HQ RV

6:30 p.m.                                   Pig Parade (line up at Caboose at Main/Gladden @ 6:15

6:30 p.m.                                   Music in the Streets begins

7:30 p.m.                                   Pig-Cooking Showmanship Competition judging

9 p.m.                                         BBQ pigs delivered to competitive cookers


Saturday October 22

7:30 – 10:30 a.m.                   Civitan Club breakfast fundraiser

8 a.m.                                         BBQ Cook Off judging begins

8 a.m. – noon                           Car Show registration


9 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.                 Chili cookers set-up (Chamber parking lot )

9 a.m. – 11 a.m.                      WRNS live remote

9 a.m. –  5 p.m.                      Artisans & Vendors


9:30 a.m.                                 Chili cooks meeting (Chamber parking lot )

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.                     Iron Order Benefit Ride for the BOCO Animal Shelter

10 a.m.                                     Chili Cook Off judging begins

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.                     Classic Car Show

10 a.m.                                     Chili Sales begin (Chamber parking lot )

10 a.m. – noon                       Live Music: Squier Red & The Blues Band (Main Stage)


10:30 a.m.                               BBQ Sales begin

11: a.m. to 1 p.m.                    MAGIC 95.9 live remote

11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.         BBQ Contest Awards Announced (Headquarters RV)

11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.        CHILI Contest Awards Announced (Headquarters RV)

12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.         Live Music: Victor Hudson (Main Stage)

Noon – 3 p.m.                        Rotary READS (Kids Zone Tent)

1 p.m. – 3 p.m.                       BCDC “Pulling for the Kids” Fire Engine Pull

2 p.m.                                       Sky Jumper demonstration (In the Water)

3 p.m. – 5 p.m.                       Live Music: Caroline Dare (Main Stage)

4 p.m.                                       Car Show awards

5 p.m.                                       Festival ends