Saturday, October 20, 2007
Lexington, NC will host the 24th annual Barbecue Festival next Saturday (October 27, 2007). This is one of the biggest and best barbeque festivals in the South. Heck, it's one of the best festivals in the country period. They even have the awards to prove it.
I live about 45 minutes from Lexington, and we make an annual pilgrimage to Lexington. We go other times of the year for the fabulous local vinegar based barbecue, but we make sure to mark the calendar for the official food festival. Government officials were going to name it the state barbecue festival, but barbecuers in other parts of the state got their panties in wads. They just named it the state food festival, but it's definately barbecue.
Don't confuse the festival with a barbecue competition. You don't have to haul in your cooker, and you won't see all the hot dogging. Locals managed to come up with a representative trademark sandwich which is served at the festival from several large tents. That's just for starters on the food. You'll find all the carnival type foods plus some Southern favorites like fried apple pies. The line gets long for those, so don't wait until afternoon. You'll never get one if you do.
Even if you aren't a fan of barbecue and other fast foods, there's plenty to see and do at the Lexington Festival. They have entertainment on several stages. Some of the entertainment is music. Some programs are for the kids but fun for adults too. There are small rides and games and lots of merchant booths. I get a lot of my Christmas shopping done at the festival and have unique items that I can't find in stores.
Lexington is a small southern town, but it's busting at the seams come barbecue Saturday. They have buses running from the Wal-Mart parking lot, and that's the best bet. Just park and catch a ride over. The buses run just every few minutes.
Be sure to look for the cheese ball mix ladies. Yum. Those mixes are wonderful. I always stock up. And keep an eye for the marshmallow shooters. Those are made with PVC pipe and shoot mini marshmallows. My boys had a blast with those the year we picked some up.
If you miss the festival this year, mark your calendar. The Lexington Barbecue Festival is always one of the last two Saturdays in October. They have a web page. Check that out for details.