CLOVER — Barbecue competitors from York County and beyond will be serving samples of their fare in Clover on Saturday as they help raise money to battle hunger in the community.
The event is Clover’s second annual Butts and Bluegrass Festival, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Clover Community Park, sponsored by the town of Clover and residents Lisa and Jeff Thornburg.
Lisa Thornburg said up to 25 teams will compete in three meat categories: ribs, brisket and butt. The competition is sanctioned by the S.C. Barbecue Association, which will conduct the judging.
Last year’s event attracted more than 500 people, Thornburg said, and the teams ran out of barbecue samples early because of the large crowd. “This year, we plan a lot more barbecue,” she said.
Thornburg said proceeds will go toward hunger-relief efforts of the Clover Area Assistance Center, which serves needy families with a food bank and other services in the Clover and Lake Wylie areas.
“We have a lot of hunger in Clover, and I just want to give back,” Thornburg said.
Admission is $10 adults and $5 children, and free for ages 6 or younger. Festival attendees will receive a wristband allowing unlimited samples from competitors.
“You can eat barbecue all day long,” Thornburg said. Barbecue also will be sold by the pound, she said.
Competitors include John Guyton of Clover, who said it’s his first barbecue competition.
“I’m a greenhorn going it to it, but it’s something I’ve always had a desire to do,” Guyton said.
Guyton, who has been cooking barbecue for several years for his family and friends, will be competing with a friend, Rob Leatherwood, under the team name Butts-R-Us Barbecue.
They will be competing for honors in all three categories, which Guyton said is another first. “This is the first time I’ve done all three categories,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to start doing it, and I’m at a point in my life where I can take that under my belt.”
Thornburg said prizes in the butt category include $1,000 for first place, $500 for second and a trophy for third. First- and second-place prizes also will be given in brisket and rib, she said, but the amounts of those prizes depend on the number of competitors.
Festivalgoers also can cast ballots for a people’s choice winner, she said.
The event will include a kids’ corner, zip line, biker games, vendors and entertainment by the Clover band Whipperwill.