By Teresa P. Crowder
As the sun was setting in Doe Valley Friday night and many were retiring for the evening, the Hogtober Barbecue competition was just getting started. Contestants began the process of lighting the flavorful fires as meat began to smoke all through the night.
By noon on Saturday, the savory scents of sizzling Boston butt and ribs mixed with special blends of herbs and spices filled the air as attendees began to arrive and sample the scrumptious offerings.
Lingering in the distance were the delightful notes of bluegrass beautifully orchestrated by no other than the hometown harmony of the Kody Norris Band.
Also, dotted throughout the park, patrons practiced their skills at the cornhole for the upcoming competition.
Children meandered back and forth from the bouncy house to painting pumpkins from the beautiful harvest provided by Eric Trivette.
The Hogtober Barbecue competition intends to be an annual fall event at Chamber Park in Johnson County, TN.
Local Gary Davis approached the Johnson County Chamber of Commerce with the idea as this was an event his community had supported while he was living in Florida.
President Gina Meade remarked, “this was something we needed for our community.”
The competition boasted six committed contenders in this barbecue bonanza:
David Nichols’ Power Smoke BBQ, Nick Wallace’s Nolichucky Smoke, Kevin Colson’s Colson Que, Travis Lewis’ Travdaddy’s BBQ, Gary Davis’ Big Orange BBQ, and Jamie Wright and Travis McCloud’s Smoky Bottom Boys.
Judges Eddie Tester, Mike Essick, Steven Bishop, and Chris Stoia had their hands and mouths full judging this tasty event. Bragging rights to first place belongs to Nick Wallace and Nolichucky BBQ! David Nichols and Power Stroke BBQ came in at a strong second place. Gary Davis and Big Orange BBQ was the fan’s favorite.
“The last 24hrs have been total chaos, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” Nick Wallace. said. “I won 1st place at my first BBQ competition in my hometown. Thanks to some awesome help from Daniel Wilson and Justin Arnold, we made one hell of a team and pulled it off. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Nolichucky Smoke. It is the beginning of a dream come true. It’s been a blast cooking with a bunch of great friends and awesome bbq cooks.” The first annual Hogtober Barbecue event sold out of food and provided ample activities.
“There is something for everyone,” said visitor Marcy Wall.
Plans for next year’s event are already in the works.