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National barbecue event returning
Nearly 150 teams expected to compete
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Forsyth County News

For more about the 2013 National Barbecue Cup: Cue’n in Cumming, visit


Now that it’s November, many people are probably dreaming of Thanksgiving turkey.

But before feasting on the traditional fowl, many will likely be enjoying barbecued pork, beef and chicken wings during the third annual National Barbecue Cup: Que’n in Cumming.

The event, which features both professional and amateur barbecue teams competing for a range of prizes, will be Nov. 15 and 16 at the Cumming Fairgrounds.

Organizer Randall Bowman said close to 100 professional barbecue teams from “25 to 30 different states” as well as around 45 amateur, or “back yard,” teams will compete for their share of a total of nearly $25,000 in prize money.

The event is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society and teams seek points from the local event to move on to other higher level competitions on the barbecue circuit.

Bowman said this year’s cup will be similar to last year’s, but with a few changes to hopefully make the event even better.

“We’ve kept everything pretty similar to last year,” Bowman said. “We’re making some changes to our organization internally that we think will help things run a little more smoothly.”

Probably the most notable change for spectators at the event will be the addition of a “beer garden,” in which they will be able to purchase the adult beverage.

The Cumming City Council just last month approved the sale of beer and wine at special events at the venue.

Bowman said there are still some details to be worked out concerning the new area since the special permit required hasn’t yet been approved by the city council. The council is scheduled to do so during a called meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

But, Bowman said the area will likely offer Budweiser and a couple of local craft beers.

As for the barbecue, the contestants can volunteer to take part in two “people’s choice” sampling events.

The first will be 7 to 9 p.m. Nov. 15 with offerings of chicken wings and Brunswick stew. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 16, the public can sample pulled pork.

“People can buy five tickets for $5 and out of those five, they can vote for their favorite,” Bowman said. “There’s no limit on how many tickets people can buy.”

The event will also offer patrons, of which there were about 15,000 last year, a range of food and arts and crafts vendors, a kids’ zone area with games and activities, and a live music lineup from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 16.

Bowman said he’s currently looking for volunteers to help out with the event.

“We need about 80 volunteers and right now we have three,” he said. “So we really need some volunteers to come forward.”

Anyone who wants to volunteer at the event will receive a free T-shirt and admission, which is $10 Friday and $5 Saturday for everyone older than 10. Children younger than 10 will be admitted for free. 

Volunteers can register through the event’s website,

Bowman said he’s hoping to continue the path of success the event has experienced in its first two years.

“There will be a lot going on and hopefully we’ll be able to continue building on the success we’ve had with the event the past two years,” Bowman said.