With one eye on the clock, Jim Burg grilled chicken to perfection on his wood chip grill as time ticked away on the final day of the Papa Joe’s Banjo-B-Que Music Festival.
Burg and his wife, Jan, who together are the Killer B’s BBQ team, were minutes away from submitting chicken breasts, ribs, brisket and pork shoulders in the barbecue cookoff at Evans Towne Center Park, an event the team won last year.
At the “Bentonville Battlewagon,” an RV he purchased after winning $50,000 and the title of grand champion at the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour in Bentonville, Ark., Burg kept his hands busy in an attempt to ease the pressure. After all, the Evans couple were attempting to defend their home turf.
“It’s leisurely until right about now,” Burg said as he dropped more wood chips into his grill. “You’re always going to have butterflies in your stomach.”
Old Plantation BBQ took the grand champion title and $5,000 in prize money, narrowly beating the Rocky Top Barbecue team. Killer B’s BBQ finished in the top 20 in the field of 65 teams.
Away from the barbecue battlegrounds, Anthony Coleman and Eric Dyer, of Johnson City, Tenn., were making the most of their second day at the festival. Coleman said they made the four-hour trip once they learned The Avett Brothers and Old Crow Medicine Show would headline the fifth annual festival.
“I’ve never been to a festival in a setting like this,” Coleman said. “It’s been perfect. The bands are great, and we’ve been enjoying the awesome craft beer.”
John and Jenifer Luton sat with their 6-month-old daughter, Holly, at the Lady Antebellum Amphitheater.
“You can tell she really enjoys the music,” Jenifer Luton said as her daughter bounced in her lap. “We’re just glad that (the festival) is still really family-friendly. We were afraid that it might be too big after coming last year.”