If you’re going
The National BBQ Cup: Que‘n in Cumming
$5 admission; children 12 and younger free; extra $5 to vote for "people’s choice" on Saturday
• For more information, visit www.NationalBBQCup.comCumming Fairgrounds, 235 Castleberry Road5-10 p.m. Nov. 18 and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 19
Tastes of championship barbecue are headed to Cumming.
The National BBQ Cup: Que’n in Cumming event will be Nov. 18 and 19 at the Cumming Fairgrounds.
Organizer Randall Bowman, who owns the Deep South BBQ food truck, said this is the first time a professional barbecue event has been held in the county. And he hopes it won’t be the last.
"I’m already working on next year’s event," he said. "This could be monstrous for Forsyth County. Our goal is to make this a Memphis in May type of event."
Memphis in May is one of the largest professional barbecue competitions in the country.
Sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue organization and the Georgia Barbecue Championship series, the Cumming event will bring professional pit masters from some 18 states.
"We have teams coming from as far as Iowa, New Jersey and Washington," Bowman said. "We should have about 90 professional teams."
They’ll compete in a variety of items, including chicken, beef brisket, pork ribs and pork butt or shoulder.
The event is open to the public, who will have a chance to crown a "people’s choice" champion.
Bowman explained that for an extra $5 above the $5 daily admission fee Saturday, patrons can buy a ticket that allows them to taste all the competitors’ pork barbecue and vote for their favorite.
Non-professionals will also have a chance to show off their skills in the competition’s backyard division.
"I hope to have about 50 backyard teams," he said. "There are still several spaces available for that.
"The backyard competition is a lot like a tailgate party. It’s just supposed to be a lot of fun."
Besides championship caliber barbecue, the event will also offer plenty of family-friendly fun.
Bowman said there will be a kids’ zone with more than 20 inflatables and games, as well as some 70 arts-and-crafts vendors and nearly 20 non-barbecue food booths.
"We’ll have everything from deep-fried brownies to alligator on a stick," he said.
There will also be concerts from several local, rising country artists.
"They’re all backyard, country folks from Georgia," he said.
Three concerts are planned for Nov. 18 and five for Nov. 19.
The artists include: The Internationals; Kurt Thomas; The Josh Daniels Band; Jeremy Herren; Angela Rain; Richard Griffith Band; Jordan Rager; and Tanna Key.
All proceeds from the event will go to three local nonprofit organizations: Bald Ridge Lodge; Jesse’s House; and Forsyth Community Connection.
"We’re expecting a good crowd," Bowman said. "We’ll probably have over 10,000 people between the two days."
He added that he’s happy to see the event, which has been in the works for more than two years, come to fruition.
"From the beginning, we said we wanted to do an event where everybody in the community can come together to help others in the community and to show off our great facilities here," he said. "It’s great to see that happening."