The Charlotte Blues & BBQ contest was our last contest of the year, so I thought I would take a moment to recap what has been an unbelievable year for us! I think had you told us at the beginning of this year how we would finish in the 4 competitions in which we participated, we wouldn’t have believed you!
We started off the year with a bang in Lincolnton at the Hog Happenin’. It was our second year at this event, which was our first event ever the year prior. We got our first win with a 1st place in the chicken category, along with our first prize money. We followed that up with a second place ‘walk’ and award in pulled pork. We ended up 3rd overall. Next year our sights are set on the Grand Champion!
Next up was a July scorcher down in Greenwood, SC, the Festival of Discovery. Oh boy was it hot, over 100 degrees on Saturday! Although we did not receive any calls at this competition, we did receive a solid 4th place in chicken (less than a point from getting the 3rd place trophy), top 10 in pulled pork and top 10 overall. Respectable showing, but we would be lying if we didn’t admit to being a little disappointed in not getting a call.
In early August, we headed up the mountain to Franklin, NC for the Mountain High BBQ and Music Festival. Beautiful contest, and MUCH cooler temps than Greenwood! On Friday night, we entered one of our sauces into the sauce competition, which was a combined contest of both pro teams and amateur teams together. We got a ‘call’ for finishing 5th out of over 30 pro and amateur teams! We then got to ‘walk’ to claim 2nd place and the red ribbon in pulled pork, our second 2nd place of the year in pork!
The three previous contests of the year were all KCBS sanctioned events. Coming into our last event of the year, Time Warner Blues & BBQ in Charlotte, an MBN sanctioned event, we had high hopes. The previous year we placed 7th out of 50 backyard teams in pulled pork in what was then only our 2nd contest ever. This year, there were 75 backyard teams, so the competition was very tough. On Friday night, we entered our first ‘ancillary’ contests, the “When Pigs Fly” wings contest, and the “Anything But” contest in the turf category. These contests pitted amateurs against the pros, no separation for these. We had great results in both, finishing 5th out of 30 teams in wings, and 8th out of 18 in the Anything But!
Saturday, however, was the big contest. All 75 teams in the backyard division were there for bragging rights, to show they can hang with the pro guys with the BIG rigs and smokers! We cooked in both categories, pulled pork (Boston Butt) and pork ribs. We were blown away by our results, and very grateful and excited! We finished 2nd in pulled pork, getting to walk on the big stage to receive our trophy and prize money! We also finished 14th in ribs out of over 65 teams. When the total scores were combined for both categories, Team QCQ had the highest total score of all 75 teams! What a way to finish out our year! Can’t wait to bring home a ‘Grand Champion’ trophy next season!