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National Barbecue Cup a big draw
Weather can’t dampen spirits at Que’n in Cumming
National Barbecue Cup: Que’n in Cumming organizers Amanda and Randall Bowman, left, stand with the event’s Grand Champion team, Moyers’ Competition Barbecue from Cartersville. The team includes Jeremy and Melissa Moyers, their son Case, and father-in-law Bill Perkins. - photo by Crystal Ledford

The weather didn’t fully cooperate for the National Barbecue Cup: Que’n in Cumming, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of those involved with the third annual event.

While cool temperatures and some rain were common themes for Friday night and Saturday, founder and lead organizer Randall Bowman said the event still drew large crowds.

“[Friday] night the weather was cold and wet, but I got to tell you that we still had bigger attendance than we did that first year on opening night,” Bowman said. “We had people walking around in the rain last night, which was shocking to me.

Overall Bowman said the event drew numbers comparable to those in 2012.

“Everything ended up being almost identical from last year,” he said Tuesday, noting that while Friday’s numbers were lower, things picked up on Saturday.

“We ended up with right around 18,000 people between the two days.”

The more than 100 amateur and professional teams that competed at the Cumming Fairgrounds didn’t seem hindered by the weather either.

They all gathered at the venue’s saw mill stage at 5 p.m. Saturday for the awards presentation.

Moyer’s Competition Barbecue of Cartersville was named Grand Champion of the event.

In the backyard division, Pop ’n’ Chubby’s took home the Buddy Lang Award, which is given each year to the Forsyth County team that receives the highest score.

Some of the others earning top prizes included Nice Rack, which took home the People’s Choice award for pulled pork, and Warren County Pork Choppers, which was named Reserve Grand Champion.

Allen Tucker of Gainesville-based Chattahoochee-Que said he enjoyed competing in the event’s professional division.

“This is our hobby,” he said. “We’ve done nine competitions this year and this is the last one and the biggest one of the year.

“We enjoy coming here. It’s nice facilities and Randall [Bowman] does a great job with it so we come to support him.”

Tucker said that while most barbecue teams don’t ask for much, it is nice to have some of the amenities the Cumming Fairgrounds provides.

“Everything’s easy here. They have big sites with nice water and power and everything,” he said. “For us, we don’t like a lot, but heated bathrooms, with weather like last night that means a lot.”

Bowman said all in all, things went very well.

“I’ve had no complaints and plenty of compliments from barbecue teams,” he said.

“It’s not the 65 degrees that we were hoping for, but it’s not miserably cold either so we’re in good shape.”

He said planning has already begun for the 2014 National Barbecue Cup.  

“We have some big things in mind for next year,” he said.