By the middle of Saturday afternoon, most folks had either found a spot in the grass in front of the Lady Antebellum Amphitheater to take in the music or were seated under the pavilion, eating a variety of barbecue.
Hundreds braved the afternoon heat at Papa Joe’s Banjo-B-Que Bluegrass Festival and Barbecue Cookoff at the Evans Towne Center Park.
Kevin and Wendy Jones came out for the first time Friday night and enjoyed the festival so much they were back Saturday.
Kevin said they sampled barbecue from two competitors. At that point, his favorite was the barbecue tacos from the Q-Drivers.
“We’re still making the rounds,” he said.
More than 60 barbecue cookers with names like Killer B BBQ Team and Fat Boyz competed for a $5,000 grand prize.
The barbecue tacos might have been the most interesting dish served at the competition. Scott Gibbs of North Augusta thought he needed to come up with a unique barbecue dish for a previous contest.
“I knew tacos were popular, so I said ‘What about barbecue tacos?’” said the owner of Q-Drivers Barbecue.
The dish was quite popular at Banjo-B-Que, he said. It consists of pulled pork barbecue on a flour tortilla, topped with a coleslaw and pico de gallo mix.
“It had fantastic reviews,” Gibbs said.
Across the park, Papa Eddie and the Hoggy Bottom Boys had more than 11 trophies and awards on display, including their award for Best Place to Hang Your Hat, which they won at the Banjo-B-Que last year.
Behind the display, nearly a dozen friends and family members tended the homemade grill, sold barbecue or hung out.
For the Hill family who make up the team, the competition is more about spending time together than winning awards. It’s about hanging out and cooking, said Bid Hill, whose father, Eddie, started the team.
“If we win an award, we’re happy,” he said. “But if we don’t, we had fun.”