To Scott Bibbs, barbecue can bring a community together.
Buckwheat's Bar-b-que Assistant Cook Russ Padgett's assessment was proven right on Saturday as attendees of the Horsin' and Hoggin' Barbecue Cook-off filled Newberry Street to sample some of South Carolina's best recipes. Proceeds from the cook-off will go to the Aiken chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Bibbs, chief cook for the Riverside Smoke of North Augusta, said that it took about a week for them to prepare their barbecue for the event and 14 hours to cook.
Bibbs said his team got involved in Horsin' and Hoggin' because it was for a good cause, and they enjoy the fellowship between the other barbecuing teams.
“People, especially in the south, associate it (barbecue) with fun,” Bibbs said. “Nobody ever fixes barbecue for one. It's always for a gathering.”
A total of 17 teams from all over South Carolina participated in the event, according to Padgett. He said Buckwheat's Bar-b-que owner and event coordinator Dewayne Jones started this event about five years ago, and this is the second year that it benefits the Aiken chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The fellowship serves students from all around the county, and uses funds for mission trips, purchasing Bibles for members and more.
“We've had really good success and really good support from the community,” Padgett said about the cook-off. “I think Aiken enjoys it.”
Residents Kathryn and Gregory Kelly said they certainly do enjoy the event.
“We came last year and had a fabulous time,” Kathryn said. “We got to try tons of barbecue.”
The teams and volunteers also have fun at the Horsin' and Hoggin' Cook-off. Donna Watts of Goose Creek, who was at the event with her husband who's a barbecue judge, spent her Saturday serving samples to hungry attendees,
Since her husband is a judge, the couple has been to many events but she said they particularly enjoy the Horsin' and Hoggin' Cook-off.
“It's in a nice, quiet little town,” Watts said with a smile. “We love it.”
Amy Banton is the digital news editor for the Aiken Standard.