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Rocky Mount

BBQ Throw Down to feature BBQ, home brew competitions & more than $20,000 in cash and prizes

Rocky Mount, N.C.-The ninth annual Eastern Carolina BBQ Throw Down will be held in front of the Helen P. Gay Historic Rocky Mount Train Station in downtown Rocky Mount on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The weekend of festivities will include a BBQ competition, the second annual home brew competition, food vendors, two stages of live entertainment, children’s activities and much more.

Sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society, this year’s BBQ competition will include over 50 cook teams from throughout the east and more than 60 certified judges. There will be four categories in the competition, including chicken, ribs, pork and beef brisket.

The BBQ competition, open to any BBQ professional, will result in a Grand Champion winning a prize of $5,000. According to Susan Phelps, special events coordinator for the city of Rocky Mount, aside from the Grand Champion, there are additional opportunities to win cash and prizes.

“By the end of the BBQ Throw Down, over $20,000 will be awarded to participants, because there are 53 opportunities to win,” says Phelps. “A favorite contest of attendees is the Pepsi’s People’s Choice Award where the public gets to participate through purchased ballots. This contest will be held on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.”

Now in its second year, the Eastern Carolina Home Brew Competition, sponsored by Rocky Mount Mills, will also take place during the festivities. The Grand Prize winner will receive a hand-blown glass trophy, $200 and the title of “Best in the East.”  Phelps says that with all the positive response to last year’s competition, they are expecting even more this year.

“Last year, the competition was wonderful, and we really look forward to great things again this year,” says Ball. “We will also have the beer garden again with some amazing North Carolina brews, including at least one from Rocky Mount favorite, Sweet Taters.”

Cook teams and brewers are not the only winners at this year’s BBQ Throw Down. Guests may win too. On Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, attendees can play Plinko at the Public Utilities Booth for an opportunity to win $100 off of their utility bill.

Entertainment will be prevalent at the annual festival, with incredible groups taking the stage throughout the event. On Friday night, Oct. 7, Rocky Mount Public Utilities will sponsor the BBQ Bash on the main stage in front of the train station, featuring music from Trial by Fire Journey Tribute.  Local favorite Land O’ Glory kicks off the music Saturday, Oct. 8 at 11 a.m. on the Train Station lawn.  Taking the stage at 12 p.m. will be the Backyard Groove Band. Entertainment will also be provided by Denver Nixon Music and the Wallers.

“The BBQ Throw Down is something people really don’t want to miss,” says Ball. “We will have some of the best barbecue in the country right here in downtown Rocky Mount.  There is just so much to do for the whole family.”

Local food truck Six Smokin’ Bones will be available the entire BBQ Throw Down weekend, including Friday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Other food vendors will offer their delicacies starting Friday evening and all day Saturday. There will also be a large area of children’s activities, including inflatables, games and much more.

For more information on the ninth annual Eastern Carolina BBQ Throw Down and the entire schedule of events, call the city of Rocky Mount’s Parks and Recreation Department at 252-972-1151, or visit