Lexington fires up for annual Barbecue Festival
One of the top food festivals in the country, the Barbecue Festival returns to Lexington this Saturday.
Selected as a top 20 event by the Southeast Tourism Society, the festival transforms an 18-block area of Lexington into a big playground, with plenty of entertainment, arts and crafts and shopping.
Of course the star of the day is slow-cooked pork barbecue. Lexington-area restaurants will be serving up thousands of pounds of barbecue from three large tents.
Barbecue tents open at 10 a.m. serving the classic North Carolina barbecue trio: chopped pork shoulders, red barbecue slaw and hush puppies.
“The barbecue is the reason the festival exists,” says Stephanie Saitsing, festival director.
Besides plenty of meat, there will also be a 50-ton pig-themed sand sculpture, juried art and craft show, Corvette exhibit, bicycle stunt show, climbing wall and lots of music.
Members of the Furnitureland Antique Automobile Club are planning to bring a mix of antique, classic and street rod cars to fill the parking lot at Davidson Funeral Home.
The Chop Shop competition features some of the best lumberjacks in the world, sawing and chopping wood, with the final round held at 4 p.m.
The Hogway Speedway will feature specially bred and trained pigs racing around an oval track.
The festival will offer six stages of music to suit a variety of tastes: Eddie Miles, Chairmen of the Board, Band of Oz, Matt Walsh, Jim Quick and Coastline and the Bahama Mamas featuring Tracy Thornton are some of the scheduled acts.
Bob Timberlake, who created the bottle label artwork for the 2009 edition of Fine Swine Wine, and Richard Childress will be signing bottles of Fine Swine Wine at the Childress Vineyards tent, located at the square, from 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Nickelodeon character SpongeBob SquarePants will make special appearances at 10 a.m., noon, 2 and 4 p.m. at the Barbecue Carnival, a family-oriented area with children’s games, music and activities. It will be located on South Main Street between Second and Fourth avenues.
More than 100,000 people are expected to attend the festival.
Travel and Leisure Magazine has touted the event as one of the top ten food festivals in the country, and it’s been included in the book “1,000 Places to See in the USA and Canada Before You Die.”
The festival is located on Main Street and adjoining side streets between 4th Street and 5th Avenue.
Festival hours are 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission is free.
Organizers have established remote parking areas and a shuttle transportation service to accommodate festival-goers from the Wal-Mart Super Center parking lot off of I-85, Exit 91, Childress Vineyards on U.S. Hwy. 64 and the Davidson County governmental u complex on North Main Street in Lexington. Round trip tickets will be $2 per person and free for children 12 and under.
Both the Piedmont and Carolinian Amtrak trains will make special once-a-year stops for the festival.
There will be stops in both Salisbury and Kannapolis to pick up passengers for the festival.
Call 1-800-USA-RAIL (872-7245) and be sure to use the LEX special city code when inquiring about ticket prices or log on to www.bytrain.org/passenger for more information.
For more information, go to www.barbecuefestival.com or call 336-956-1880.