Hot BBQ and cool cars: Chocowinity’s weekend rocked

Published 8:20 am Wednesday, November 16, 2022

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By Karen Thiel, For Washington Daily News

Spirits were high all over town last weekend, as Chocowinity residents – and folks from several other counties – chose between Eastern North Carolina BBQ at Chocowinity Volunteer Fire Department or a wide variety of classic and “creative” cars on display at Southside High School. The double dip of taste and creativity is considered the traditional start of Chocowinity’s holiday season, followed quickly by the town’s celebrated Christmas Parade and Expo, which will be held next Saturday.

Other than the opportunity to buy BBQ pork or chicken plates – and BBQ by the pound – the annual competition ended on a surprise note when newcomer Shayna Bowers of Washington took first place in a field that included BBQ competitors who have been competing for decades. The daughter of seasoned BBQ competitor Wesley Bowers, the 21-year-old was joined by team members Josh Deal and Mason Lea, all of whom worked from Friday night to Saturday morning to earn their bragging rights – as well as a commemorative winners’ plaque, prize money, and congratulatory “attagirl” greetings from virtually every other competitor, all of whom were significantly more experienced in the craft.

Proceeds from sales of the BBQ plates and one-pound BBQ containers will supplement the 2023 budget of the Chocowinity Volunteer Fire Department. Also planned for that crew is a pancake breakfast, to be held next Saturday, before this year’s Christmas parade and expo begin at the middle school and fire house.

While BBQ fans were competing – or buying the results of all that loving effort – cars trucks and farm equipment of all types were being appreciated at Southside High School. A fundraiser for the school’s chapter of Future Farmers of America, the event featured vehicles that included the highly customized, lovingly restored, theme painted and beloved family traditions that belonged to joyously obsessed vehicle fanatics from all over the state and right down the street. One of them literally came from down the street,: the 1971 Economy brand “Power King” tractor belongs  to Southside band director James E. Mauser. It was passed down to him from his dad, who used it in the traditional manner “for cutting grass and plowing snow in Pennsylvania” until his son brought it to North Carolina in 2021.

Information regarding these or next week’s events may be found by calling the front office of Southside High School at 252-940-1881 regarding FFA or other events; Chocowinity Volunteer Fire Department’s Chief Tommy Pendley at 252-946-6559 regarding the parade or the BBQ event; and Ladies’ Auxiliary president Tonya Avery at 252-495-1102 regarding the Expo.