Blue Ridge Barbeque Festival Ends As New Champion Crowned -

Blue Ridge Barbeque Festival Ends As New Champion Crowned

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The second day of the Blue Ridge Barbeque Festival is underway at Harmon Field in Tryon. The second day of the Blue Ridge Barbeque Festival is underway at Harmon Field in Tryon.
Festival Map Festival Map
Tryon, N.C. -

The 20th annual Blue Ridge Barbeque Festival is over as thousands of people packed Harmon Field in Tryon for the food, entertainment and games Friday and Saturday. However, it was the food that most came people came out to enjoy and a new Grand Champion was been crowned.

Rocky Top Barbeque of Jonesborough, Tennessee, earned the most cumulative points to win the Grand Champion Award. The award is based on judging from the best pork, ribs, brisket and chicken categories as sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society.

Wild Bunch Butt Burners of Atmore, Alabama, earned the second most points to earn the Reserve Grand Champion Award, while Hambones By The Fire of Yorktown, Virginia, finished third. Smoke In The Mountains of Asheville won the North Carolina Governor's Cup by being the North Carolina group with the most points.  

It's also home of the North Carolina Barbecue Championship with prizes totaling more than $20,000. To see the entire list of winners from the various events, click here.

In addition to the barbecue, there's also live music including Donna the Buffalo, Town Mountain, and The Chuck Beattie Band, among many others.

Another highlight is the classic car show.  Here's a breakdown of from the festival's website.

2013 Festival

The 2013 Festival is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, June 14 and 15, from 10 a.m.-11 p.m both days. The Festival is held each year at Harmon Field in Tryon, N.C.


Admission is FREE for everyone on Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. All other times, adult tickets are $8, with children 12 and under admitted free. Get in free and stay all day! Active duty service people FREE anytime with military ID.


FREE – we have lots of signs to direct you to ample field parking. Trolleys and/or trams run continuously between the Main Gate and parking area to carry you quickly and conveniently back and forth. Spacious for all your purchases and handicap accessible, this free service is just another way for us to thank you for visiting us!

You must convert your dollars to BBQ Bucks. You can purchase food and beverages ONLY with BBQ bucks--cash and credit cards are not accepted. There are several BBQ Bucks booths, so if you see a long line at one booth, look for another. Exceptions: Credit cards and cash may be used at the BBQ Merchandise tent. In the Arts & Craft Festival area, vendors accept cash and some may accept credit cards. There is an ATM machine on the grounds for your convenience.


Organizers of the Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival have issued the following statement regarding security measures to be implemented at this year's even.

"In the interest of public safety, no backpacks will be permitted on Festival Grounds during the Festival. All bags will be subject to inspection. No pets (except for service animals) or coolers will be allowed. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated."

Festival Entertainment

Located right in the heart of the festival, the Main Stage hosts the big acts and headliners. There's lots of space to dance in front of the stage and, when the sun goes down, there's a whole lotta shakin' going on! The Riverside Stage, located in an idyllic spot along the Pacolet River, is a more intimate venue. It features a variety of entertainment including some Main Stage performers who enjoy being closer to their audiences, some "Up-and-Comers," just trying out their wings, and also the occasional specialty act - like a magic show aimed at the children, for instance.

Foothills Arts & Crafts Festival

Bring your canvas shopping bag and prepare to be delighted by the fine items in the Foothills Arts & Crafts Festival. Dotted along the Pacolet River, many of our artisans demonstrate their skills and enjoy chatting with you about their craft. We know of one of our guests that comes back year after year to accomplish most of her holiday shopping at the Festival! Want to participate, visit the Arts & Crafts page and download an application.

Watch the Competition Judging

The public is invited to watch the judging of the cook teams food entries. Judging will be at the open-air gym, and onlookers can have a good view from the outside fence looking in.

Judging times


Potato Salad 6:30 p.m.; Anything but 7 p.m.; Dessert 7:30 p.m.


Whole Hog 11 a.m.; Chicken noon; Ribs 12:30 p.m.; Pork 1 p.m.; Brisket 1:30 p.m.


All food vendors are located in the infield area on the big oval in front of the main stage, and all food is purchased with BBQ Bucks, so look for the booths that sell the bucks first.

If you like your food cooked low & slow, then step right up and order some of our BBQ. The folks selling you your ‘Q in the infield area are also competing for prizes and championship status in our contest, so you know you're getting the best of the best! We only invite a small handful of our cookers— most of whom are also professional restaurateurs and caterers—to vend to our festival goers.

What would a food event be without delicious sweets and treats? Every year we invite many different food vendors to apply and then we cull the cream of the crop to offer you all of your favorites and maybe a few new delights, too! Thirsty? You can find exotic beers as well as wine by the glass in the Beergarden/Vineyard Tent. Our BBQ vendors have tea, and please check out our Non-BBQ Food Vendors for other beverages such as fresh-squeezed lemonade. The festival also sells bottled water, sodas and beer throughout the infield area; perfect for a fine summer day!

Vendors, be sure and visit the Vendors page.

Hog Heaven!

The heart and the soul of the Blue Ridge Barbecue & Music Festival is where our competition cook teams set up their rigs to vie for prestige, cash prizes and awards in this, the North Carolina State Barbecue Championship. The top ranking team from North Carolina also wins the coveted Governor's Trophy. Teams must compete in all four Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) sanctioned categories; Chicken, Pork Ribs, Pork and Beef Brisket to be considered for Grand Champion. The judging for the main event is on Saturday afternoon and awards are announced in the late afternoon in the Open Air Gym area.

Judging is by KCBS certified judges and we use a double blind system to ensure a fair and equal contest. Although the smell of sweet and spicy smoke will make your mouth water in anticipation, there is no food sold to the public in the competition area—only in the infield area.

On Friday, the teams that wish may compete in our annual "Anything But" and "Dessert" events (Anything But refers to any entrees other than the four categories required in the Main event—chicken, pork ribs, pork and beef brisket). Celebrity judges (special friends of the Festival) are invited to participate under the direction of KCBS certified judges. These events take place in the Open Air Gym late Friday afternoon.

Cookers, be sure and visit the Cookers page.

Cooker Store

Many of our cook teams offer their sauces and rubs to you through our Cooker Store. Come, pick out your favorites to take home—and pick up a few extras to give as gifts, too. Cooker Store is located alongside the BBQ Merchandise Tent.

Rides & Games

Kids of all ages will enjoy the Kids Fun Park, with age appropriate rides and amusements. Kids' ride bracelets are available for unlimited rides in two sessions each day­— from opening until 4 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Main Street

Come browse our Main Street vendors for a diverse offering of goods and services. For information on becoming a Main Street Vendor, visit the Vendors page.

Stroll of Fame

As you enter the Festival grounds, just beyond Main Street, notice the colorful and informative banners hanging on the fence. These banners represent dozens of local businesses who support the Festival. If you would like to become a Banner Sponsor, visit our Sponsors page and download a Sponsor Brochure or banner application.


Hawg Run

This is a Poker Run with two origination points - one in Greenville, the other in the Asheville area. Both runs terminate at the Festival on Saturday. There will be a prize for the best hand in each run.

Classic Car Show

Come enjoy a stroll back in time as members of the antique car owners share their lovingly restored/maintained cars. Great fun for the whole family!


Going Green – Our Recycling Initiative

We set a goal, starting with Festival 2006 to reduce our landfill waste by 75% in three years. We fell only slightly short of that substantial goal in 2008, and in 2009 did succeed in an 80% reduction insofar as the festival goers were concerned. Great cooperation all around! Read all about it here.

Finding the Festival

The Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival is held each year at Harmon Field in Tryon, N.C. Use Google Maps to plot a course from any address to the Festival grounds or click here for more directions.

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