By Aileen Goldstein
Imagine a street event in a beautiful setting during our beautifully mild winter. Now imagine the festival includes championship barbeque, craft beer and live music from a variety of local talent.
You don’t have to imagine for long, as the Friends of Caroline Hospice’s annual Bands, Brews and BBQ is right around the corner.
The 8th annual event will take place Friday, Feb. 24, and Saturday, Feb. 25, on Paris Avenue in Port Royal.
The event kicks off the official South Carolina Barbeque Association’s year-long championship contest and features sanctioned judging of as many as 32 teams of barbeque experts all competing for the coveted top spots.
Bands scheduled to perform at the festival include The Cluster Shucks, Walker Harris Band, Eric Daubert and Cranford Hollow.
Friday night’s Wing Throw Down event will feature wings recipes from participating cooking teams. The evening will also include the first annual Eat Sleep Play Beaufort Hot Wing Eating Contest sponsored by the Carolina Tavern. Competing participants will eat as many wings as possible in 2 minutes.
Saturday’s event schedule includes live music, barbeque tastings and a kid’s zone, including a bounce house and face painting
All money raised during the event goes directly into funding Friends of Caroline Hospice, a local nonprofit hospice serving Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper counties.
Friends of Carolina provide care and support for people living with a life limiting disease.
The purpose of hospice is widely misunderstood, according to experts.
“Hospice is adding life to days; it is giving back a quality of life and dignity. You are not in a hospital with a bunch of tubes. You get to be at home with your family,” explains Melissa Viets, director of Community Outreach.
Furthermore, patients of Friends of Caroline will never receive a bill.
“If the patient does not have insurance, they will never see a fee from us. We provide all the services and that is why we do the events we do,” Viets said. Services provided include a dedicated team of professionals, from physicians, nurses and nursing assistants to chaplains and social workers. The organization also provides medical equipment, medicine and more.
Friends of Caroline also offers a child bereavement program. The service is the only bereavement program offered in Beaufort County schools and sends groups of volunteers to schools to help students deal with loss.
In addition, Friends of Caroline hosts an annual Camp Caroline day, connecting children from all over who have all experienced a personal loss for a fun-filled day of events.
Bands, Brews and BBQ is one of several events, along with The Red Door thrift store, that fund the services that Friends of Caroline are able to provide for the Lowcountry.
Interested in entering your secret barbeque recipe into the competition? There is still time to register; the cutoff is Thursday, Feb. 16. Registration fees for first-time participants are $250.
Tickets for the event are available in advance for $10 per day for 12 years and older, under 12 is free. Tickets will be $15 at the door. Additional tickets for food and beverages will be available for purchase. No outside food, beverages or coolers are allowed.