By Charlotte Smith
The third annual Pork and Beats Festival will take place on Saturday at the Cape Fear Farmers Market in Elizabethtown. One of the most famous and beloved bands in these parts, Black Water Rhythm & Blues Band will be performing and the town just announced there are 23 cooks participating in the annual BBQ Cook-off.
This is the first year the local celebration was organized by the Town of Elizabethtown instead of a committee of volunteers. According to the organizers, the event will be held at the Cape Fear Farmer’s Market in Elizabethtown starting with opening ceremonies at 10 a.m. and lasting “until all the fun is done!”
The BBQ plate sale will start at 11 a.m. In addition to the BBQ Cook-off judging and the free live entertainment promising a good time, there will be craft vendors and local merchants on site for the crowd’s shopping pleasure, a classic car show, a skate board competition, bounce houses, disk golf and more.
Photos from past Pork & Beats Festival:
Mike Shaw, one of the founders of the event helped create the annual Pork & Beats Festival in 2017 after he attended the successful annual Bladenboro Beast Fest. He said he told his son, “Sling” Shaw in 2016 it would be nice to bring back the former Pork Festival to the Town of Elizabethtown.
The pork industry is one of the area’s leading economic drivers providing thousands of jobs in Bladen County and adding hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenue each year. Stating these facts, Shaw felt it only fitting to work out the details to bring back the celebration of pork with a festival.
After his conversation with his son, Shaw met with Town of Elizabethtown Manager, Eddie Madden who supported his idea and a committee was formed.
After last year’s successful festival, Shaw passed the torch to the town to take over. He said it was because he wanted the event to grow and he was afraid he would not have enough time to dedicate to organizing the event.
“We started off with nothing,” Shaw said. Now the event is expected to draw thousands into the down town area.
Town of Elizabethtown Director of Communications and Marketing, Mrs. Terri Dennison announced she had been focusing on the event and it is expected to be a great success.
Town of Elizabethtown Council member, Ricky Leinwand said he was excited about the opportunity to showcase Elizabethtown with the festival. Leinwand is scheduled for a television interview later this week to explain the reasons behind the town hosting the Pork & Beats Festival and to invite everyone to attend.
The event is free this Saturday, November 16th, open to the public and will be located at 106 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Elizabethtown.