By Tess Malijenovsky
Lowcountry Habitat for Humanity’s inaugural fundraiser High on the Hog BBQ Festival is all about that pork and Lowcountry cuisine. The barbecue competition is likely to draw competitors from across the South while raising money for families in need of homes here in Beaufort.
“With South Carolina being the BBQ headquarters of the South, we thought we’d try something a little different,” said Bob Albon, chairman of the festival and Habitat Board Member.
Lowcountry Habitat for Humanity has paired with the South Carolina Barbecue Association — the largest organization of its kind — to summon barbecue chefs from all over the state, North Carolina and Georgia. Albon suspects 15 to 20 teams will travel to Beaufort to compete in the two-day event.
Friday, June 8, from 5-9 p.m. is “Everything Lowcountry,” an evening of sampling favorite down-home dishes such as mac and cheese, shrimp and grits and frogmore stew. There will also be live music by Chris Holly.
Then, throughout the night, barbecuers will begin smoking traditional pork butts and ribs for Saturday’s SC BBQ Association sanctioned event. From 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 9, festival-goers can taste all the competing barbecue for the price of one wristband.
Quentin Tedder and his wife Barbara are Beaufortonians who enjoy traveling all over the state to eat barbecue. In fact, they are two of the Senior Judges from the SC BBQ Association. Quentin explained that the competition will have blind judging and that the barbecue will be judged based on five categories: appearance, aroma, tenderness, taste and overall. “The scores will be within tenths of a point — it’s that competitive,” said Quentin. Needless to say, the competition will make for some delicious barbecue.
Locals can chime in and enjoy the barbecue, butts and ribs, as well as treats from other local vendors. Beer and wine will be sold and kids activities will be going on all day; it’s a great event for the whole family.
The grand champion will win a trophy and $1,200. Lots of other prizes will be awarded, and the winners will be announced Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
It goes without saying that proceeds go to Lowcountry Habitat for Humanity, which helps responsible Beaufort families build, renovate and repair affordable housing. The local organization completed its 39th house north of the Broad river on St. Helena Island about three weeks ago. Albon says Habitat is currently working on a “church-built” house in downtown Beaufort (behind the Boys & Girls Club) that was funded by local churches. By coming down to the High on the Hog BBQ Festival, locals just may contribute to a barbecue-built house on Lady’s Island or Pigeon Point where the organization anticipates its next house project.
High on the Hog BBQ Festival will be June 8-9 at the scenic Whitehall Plantation on Lady’s Island at the base of the Wood’s Memorial Bridge (10 Harborview Circle, Beaufort, SC 29902).
The main event sponsors are CBC National Bank, Piggly Wiggly, Century Link and Aslan Ventures, LLC. Other sponsors include Wells Fargo; Patterson Construction; Beaufort Pediatrics; Sea Eagle Market; Blu-John Of Savannah; Pepsico Of Beaufort; Steve And Barbara Andrews; Bob and Barbara Albon; Dr. Perry W. Durant, DMD; The Digitel Beaufort; Derek Gilbert — Gilbert Law Firm; The Tent Factory; Sonic of Lady’s Island; Triangle Ice; Palm Key Catering; John and Cindy Schafer; and Palmetto Smokehouse.
Tickets are $10 on Friday, $12 on Saturday, $20 for both days, $15 for military, and free for children under 10 years old. Contact Bob Albon at 843-838-0046 more information or visit www.highonthehog.info.