NEWBERRY — Better late than never, the City of Newberry’s annual Pork in the Park event will be held May 3 in Memorial Park downtown.
Usually held on the third Saturday in April, this year’s event was moved back because of the Easter holiday.
“We’re still expecting a good turnout,” said Mary Alex Kopp, tourism and events coordinator for the City of Newberry.
The event is scheduled to kick off around 11 a.m. and continue through 3:30 p.m. Different from previous years, the event is sanctioned by the Southern Barbecue Network, which Kopp said makes the competition that much harder, and the prize more rewarding.
The Southern Barbecue Network, Kopp said, started their organization in 2010 because there were very few boards like it within this area of the state. The organization will be running the booths and judging this year, but city employees will be there, helping the event run smoothly.
Also volunteering this year are students from the Mid-Carolina Beta Club.
“We’re really excited to have them helping out,” Kopp said.
More groups have registered this year, bringing the number competing up to 15 teams. Five of the 15 teams are from Newberry, with one team from North Carolina, and the rest from South Carolina, Kopp said.
Pork in the Park teams will compete in three different meat categories — Boston butt, chicken and ribs. Prizes will go to the first, second and third place winners in each category, as well as to the competition grand champion.
Third place winners will receive a cash prize of $125, second place will receive $250, with first place winners receiving $400. The cash prize for the grand champion will be $500. Each of the winning teams will also receive trophies.
The awards are scheduled to take place around 3:15 p.m.
The barbecue teams participating include the Steelhorse Smokehouse, The Smokin’ Grill, Flyin’ Pig, Kickin’ Ash, Esso B’s BBQ, Boar’s Nest, Biggy Boy’s, Ben’s Fine Swine, Pig Pockets, Wink’s BBQ, Kilted Kilby, 4 M-Que, Frog Level Bar BQ, On the Spot BBQ, and Skinny Rick’s BBQ.
Kilted Kilby, 4 M-Que, Frog Level Bar BQ, On the Spot BBQ and Skinny Rick’s BBQ will be competing only, not selling.
Although not all teams will be selling their products, Kopp said at the end of the competition, some might sell their products to get rid of them at the end of the day.
Slide guitarist John Emil will perform from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Taking the stage at 1 p.m. is Bulldog Bluegrass, which will continue through the end of the afternoon. The bluegrass group performed last year at Oktoberfest.
“We had a lot of fun picking out entertainment for this event,” Kopp said.
According to Kopp there will be inflatables for children and First Baptist Church in Newberry will provide activities for children, such as face-painting.
Pedestrians will not be allowed to walk throughout downtown with alcoholic beverages.
The streets will be blocked off beginning Saturday for Pork in the Park, but Kopp said regular parking will be available.