Blue Ridge BBQ and Music Fest approaches

Sometimes all you want out of a getaway is the opportunity to eat like a Roman emperor where none of your co-workers will see you smearing sauce all over yourself. Oh, that’s just us? Well, gluttonous inclinations or no, this year’s Blue Ridge BBQ and Music Festival, taking place on Friday, June 8 and Saturday, June 9, in Tryon, N.C., is shaping up to be quite the food-centric getaway.

During the event, ‘cue teams from across the country will compete for a purse valued at approximately $20,000. In order to win the coveted Grand Championship, teams must score close to the top in four categories — pork shoulder, pork ribs, chicken and beef brisket. There’s a separate contest involving whole hog, the gold standard of ‘cue according to some pit-masters. In other words, you’re looking at a pretty meat-heavy event.

The event is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society and is judged according to its rules. Want to eat like a judge? Each year, five or six of the competing teams are selected to be “sell cookers.” These vendors set up their “storefronts” and sell to the public — that means that ticket-holders are getting the real deal, championship-quality barbecue. Other vendors supply a wide variety of sides, beverages and desserts.

Yes, there’s plenty of opportunity to get your fair food on, with shaved ice, fried Twinkies, funnel cakes, pork rinds and kettle corn. But the weekend isn’t all about food. OK, it’s mostly about food — but there will be tunes, too (it’s right there in the name, see?). Musical highlights include Sol Driven Train; Acoustic Syndicate; The Black Lillies; The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker; and The Lee Boys (see for the whole schedule).

Admission is free on Friday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. All other times, adult tickets are $8, with children 12 and under admitted free.

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