3rd Annual Pork & Beats Barbecue Festival to showcase Elizabethtown’s small-town charm


ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WWAY) — If you’re in the mood for barbecue, classic cars and music, then head to the 3rd Annual Port & Beats BBQ cook-off in Elizabethtown this weekend.

More than two dozen cooks have signed up to take part in the barbecue cooking contest including the current state champion. Barbecue will be available at $7 per plate Saturday after 10 a.m.

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The cooks will get their pigs on Friday around 6 p.m. and cook them overnight for judging on Saturday morning. Winners will be announced around noon.

“We’re going to have some pretty good barbecue,” said Elizabethtown Assistant Manager Pat Devane.

He’s says they’re expecting hundreds of people to attend the one-day event. Craft and food vendors will be available along with the Classic Cruisers Car Club.

“The original pork festival was started in the 1990’s and lasted four to five years and that was founded by the Chamber of Commerce,” Devane said. “This is actually the result of local businessmen coming to us saying we need to revive the pork festival and we came up with this theme of Pork & Beats.”

The festival officially kicks off Saturday morning and continues until 5 p.m.

“It’s all about having good barbecue, good music and having fun and a lot of stuff to do,” Devane said.

There will also be music featuring a variety of local musicians and a popular Southeastern North Carolina group called Blackwater Band.

Local merchants say the festival helps to shine the spotlight on some of the nice things happening in downtown Elizabethtown.

“On behalf of Mayor Sylvia Campbell and Town Manager Eddie Madden, our city council has worked really hard to showcase Elizabethtown,” said Ricky Leinwand. “We’ve got it going in Elizabethtown and we are proud of it.”

In recent years, the Bladen County town has opened a new airport, an industrial park, and a bike park. A downtown revitalization project started three years ago which is now entering its second phase.

“You look at our town 20 years ago and look at it now and its one of the most charming beautiful towns in North Carolina,” Leinwand said.

The festival will be held at the Cape Fear Farmer’s Market at 106 M.L.K. Drive in Elizabethtown.