MAULDIN, SC – Produced by the City of Mauldin, SOOIE., Mauldin’s 7th Annual BBQ Festival showcased the heritage of the community through food and music. Hosted at the Mauldin Cultural Center’s Outdoor Amphitheater, the festival featured 25 Cookers from all over the Southeast competing in a BBQ Cook-off competition judged by the South
Carolina Barbeque Association (SCBA), live music, family activities, and a relaxing atmosphere. This family- friendly festival ran on Friday, September 22 and Saturday, September 23.
Friday featured the Anything Butt Competition accompanied by live music from the Brooks Dixon Band. For the Anything Butt Competition, participating Cookers serve dishes or items of their choice—including sliders, banana pudding, mac ‘n’ cheese, turkey legs, and more.
Cookers entered their items to be judged by a guest panel in the categories of Sweet, Savory and Brisket.
The main event took place on Saturday with a pulled-pork cook-off, kids zone, and live music from Doug Hunt & Burning Daylight and Jack Roper & the Weatherman Band. Each team prepared its best BBQ, with samples available to anyone with a Tasting Pass. A competition judging the best ribs was also held alongside the main cook-off. The SCBA judged the pork and ribs, and those with Tasting Passes voted for the winner of the Gabe Hunter People’s Choice Award.
There were ten awards handed out in total. Friday’s Anything Butt Competition had three winners for three categories. In the Sweet category, the winner was James Davila and his team The Saucy Pig with a blueberry cheesecake. In Savory, the winner was Drew Kelley of Smokin’ Blues with a chicken eggroll. Finally, in the Brisket category was Tay Nelson of Bobby’s All Purpose Seasonings and BBQ with his brisket taco.
The top winner of Saturday’s ribs competition was James Davila of the Saucy Pig, and the Gabe Hunter People’s Choice Award went to Jeff Heider of Butt Jokes. Five winners took home awards for the main competition. From fifth to first place, the winners were James Davila of the Saucy Pig; Jeremy Smith of Piggy Fins BBQ; Jason Doss of Adventures in Smoke; Jared Rikard of Dozed & B’Qued; and the top winner of Mauldin’s Annual SOOIE. Cook-off was Matt Talbot and his team High on the Hog BBQ.
The Mauldin Cultural Center hosts many events throughout the year, including SOOIE. Upcoming events include a comedy performance by Henry Cho on October 7th; a sip and stroll event along Butler Road called Butler Brews and Mead on October 13th; and a performance of The Lion King, Jr. by the Mauldin Youth Theatre in November. For more information on the Mauldin Cultural Center’s upcoming events, visit mauldinculturalcenter.org
– Jeannie Harmon and Kiera Kitchings♦