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Plans for Pork and Beats Festival under way

By Erin Smith

There is excitement in the air as final preparations are being made for the first annual Pork and Beats Festival which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Nov. 18th, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the Cape Fear Farmers Market in Elizabethtown. 

Mike Shaw, chairman of the Pork and Beats Festival Board said he and his son, Richard “Sling” Shaw, attended the Bladenboro BeastFest last year. Mike Shaw said on his way home that evening, he told his son it would be nice to bring back the former Pork Festival to the town of Elizabethtown.

“He asked me, ‘How are you going to do it?’ I said, ‘I don’t know,’” said Mike Shaw.

He said he met with Elizabethtown Town Manager Eddie Madden, who thought it was a good idea. Shaw said, after talking with Madden, he formed a committee to discuss bringing back the Pork Festival and how best to proceed. 

 “We started off with nothing,” said Shaw. 

The festival will consist of a BBQ Pork Cook-off, live entertainment, crafts vendors, non-profit agencies, and educational booths. 

Those who have entered the pork cook-off will receive their pigs by 5 p.m. Friday evening. Becky Spearman, one of the festival’s many organizers, and Shaw, both said Smithfield Foods has agreed to donate the pigs for the BBQ cook-off. The cost to enter the cook-off is $100 and there will be cash prizes awarded to the top three places, said Spearman. First place will receive $300; 2nd  place will receive $200, and 3rd place will receive $100.  The winner will be announced at 10 a.m. Saturday during the Opening Ceremonies.

Spearman said the meat from the cook-off will be donated to the Bladen County Firefighters Association. They will begin serving plates at 11 a.m. 

There will be a classic car cruise-in from noon until 3 p.m. Shaw said there will be a trophy awarded for the Best in Show. There will also be a display of antique tractors featuring the Cape Fear Heritage Farm Association. 

The festival will conduct opening ceremonies at 10 a.m. Live entertainment begins at 11 a.m. with Dance Infinity. Also scheduled to perform are Neil Smith, the Baldwin Branch Men’s Choir, Jan Houser, and the Cripple Creek Cloggers.

A crowd favorite, Blackwater Rhythm and Blues will perform beginning at 4 p.m.

“We couldn’t do it without all of the committee members,” said Shaw. 

Rules for the BBQ cook-off can be found here. For information on how to enter the BBQ Cook-off, contact Woody Lancaster at 910-874-2274.

For more information on participating as a vendor, call Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dawn Maynard at 910-874-0285 or 910-862-4368. 

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