Barbecue is about to get serious in Beaufort.
The second annual Bands, Brews & BBQ to benefit Friends of Caroline Hospice features all sorts of goodies slathered in tangy sauces Friday and Saturday at Beaufort Town Center.
The festival also serves as an official South Carolina Barbeque Association testing event. So the cookers don't just come for a good time. They've got some darn good barbecue to show off.
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Barbecue lovers can eat all they can stomach for a flat fee -- call it a pork paradise. About 26 amateur and professional grillers will offer up their best barbecue and more. The Anything But Pork Party on Friday night is reserved for just that -- a pig-free offering of all types of meats and seafood.
Saturday afternoon is for the true barbecue fanatic. Cookers bring out their proudest 'cues while the state barbecue association members judge the best in the ribs and butts categories.
The event serves as the first of the year for the South Carolina Barbeque Association, meaning participants are coming from as far as North Carolina to participate, development director Janie Lackman said. The numbers doubled from the inaugural event last year, she said.
The association travels the state, helping start festivals and doling out awards for good barbecue. And they mean business. Barbecue fans undergo a training and mentoring process before they can call themselves a full-fledged judge. The association brought more than 30 judges last year with some of them serving their barbecue apprenticeship.
If stuffing yourself silly with barbecue isn't entertaining enough, sit back and listen to Ban Jovi and Red Moon on Friday night. Chris Jones and Peyton Tochterman play Saturday. A kids zone will feature a bounce house and an appearance by Tux the Clown.
The event is a fundraiser for Friends of Caroline Hospice, a nonprofit organization that offers end-of-life services. The organization does not ask for money from its patients or rely on insurance or government programs. It's main form of fundraising is through donations and community events, including this annual festival. The hospice raised about $17,000 last year from the second event, Lackman said.