The Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival celebrated its 23rd year June 10-11 in Tryon with visitors from North Carolina and beyond coming together to enjoy cold brews, ‘cue and live music. More than 60 barbecue teams from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee were on hand to compete in categories including Pork, Brisket, Chicken, Whole Hog and Dessert.
The 2016 Grand Champion title went to Joe and Lori Loth of Linn Creek, Mo.’s Brickhead BBQ. Brickhead normally competes in the Missouri area, and this was the team’s first time participating at the Tryon event, according to a festival press release. The team did well in all four categories, earning second place honors in Ribs and Pork, a fourth in Brisket and a seventh in Chicken.
Hambones by the Fire, led by Rick Hamilton of Yorktown, Virginia, took second place overall and was named Reserve Grand Champion. Defending champion Rocky Top, led by Walt Moulton of Jonesborough, Tenn., finished third.
Fired Up Smokers, led by Fred Woodard of Fremont, N.C., was the highest-scoring North Carolina team, earning it the North Carolina State Champion title and Governor’s Cup trophy. The team finished seventh overall.
A classic car show Saturday showcased cars from both domestic and foreign manufacturers. The usual suspects, such as Chevrolet Novas and Chevelles and Ford Mustangs, were numerous, but German makes, including Porsche and Volkswagen, had a few representatives as well.
GRAND CHAMPIONS: The title of 2016 Grand Champion of the Blue Ridge BBQ Festival went to Brickhead BBQ, led by pitmaster Joe Loth of Linn Creek, Mo.
Pitmaster Scott Reid of the Jefferson, N.J.-based Texas Smoke BBQ, displays a rack of pork ribs with griller Adolfo Luviano. Photo by John Mallow
Hailing from Denton, Texas, the Texas Rib Rangers, led by husband and wife team Bill and Barbara Milroy, have been barbecuing for more than 40 years. Photo by John Mallow
Customers line up to experience Texas Rib Rangers BBQ. Photo by John Mallow
Foothills Mountain BBQ’s Paul Dale next to one of his smokers.
Kaleigh McMurray holds up two of Foothills Mountain BBQ’s smoked turkey legs. Photo by John Mallow
Jim Smart, of Paradise Ridge Catering of Nashville, Tenn., endures the heat of competition. Photo by John Mallow
The Aaron Burdett Band performs on the main stage Saturday afternoon. Photo by John Mallow
The Trongone Band rock the crowd with their raw and gritty sound. Pictured left to right, Ben White, Andrew Trongone, Johnny Trongone and Todd Harrington. Photo by John Mallow
Andrew Trongone, lead vocalist and guitarist of The Trongone Band, shreds on the main stage Saturday. Photo by John Mallow
Keyboardist Ben White of The Trongone Band tickles the ivories. Photo by John Mallow
Based in Nashville, Tenn., Forlorn Strangers performed a mix of folk and bluegrass numbers. Photo by John Mallow
Abigail Dempsey, fiddle player and vocalist of Forlorn Strangers, gets down with a tambourine. Photo by John Mallow
Saturday’s classic car show included makes and models from the United States to Germany. Photo by John Mallow
A pristine 1974 Porsche 914. Photo by John Mallow
A 1973 powder blue Plymouth Road Runner
A 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle SS gleams in the sunlight at the classic car show.