The Mauldin Cultural Center will host the 13th annual SOOIE. BBQ Festival presented by South Carolina Federal Credit Union on Friday, Sept. 15 and Saturday, Sept. 16. The two-day event will feature 29 cookers from across the Southeast competing in a BBQ Cook-off judged by the South Carolina Barbeque Association (SCBA) along with live music and family-friendly activities.
“The SOOIE. BBQ Festival is a wonderful event that allows people to come together and sample delicious food in a fun, casual atmosphere,” Mayor Terry Merritt said. “It’s been amazing to watch the festival grow and draw people in over the past 13 years in a unique celebration of community, camaraderie and the love of good food.”
The festival opens Friday night with the Anything Butt competition, where participating cookers serve anything BUTT their BBQ to pique festivalgoers’ tastebuds. Food items will be judged by a guest panel, with special awards given to the winners during Saturday’s awards ceremony. Friday will also feature live music from the James Radford Band.
Saturday features the main event — a BBQ Cook-off competition with a panel of certified BBQ Tasters from the SCBA, when festivalgoers will be able to sample pulled pork from the cookers of their choosing. The public will also have a chance to cast their vote for the best BBQ and the winner of the Gabe Hunter People’s Choice Award. Saturday will feature live music from the West End String Band.
Additional food vendors and Growler Haus will be on site for the event. There will also be a new Bark-B-Q Zone for leashed dogs and a Kids Zone featuring free activities including face painting, balloon twisting and a Lego build station.
“The SOOIE. BBQ Festival is a great opportunity for the community to celebrate cooking low and slow as a true art form,” Cultural Center Manager Christine Faust said. “By adding in live music, activities for the whole family and our new Bark-B-Q zone, it will be the perfect way to welcome the fall season.”
The festival takes place at the Mauldin Cultural Center’s outdoor amphitheater and grounds at 101 E. Butler Rd. Admission, parking, live music and the Kids Zone are free of charge; guests pay only for food and drink.
The event schedule is as follows:
Friday, Sept. 15 | 6 to 9 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 16 | 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Guests are advised to arrive early on Saturday, as ticket sales end at 1 p.m. and BBQ typically sells out.
Event sponsors include the South Carolina Federal Credit Union, WOW Fiber Internet, Ace Hardware, IPS Packaging, Greenville Journal, Greenville News, Haywood Mall and the City of Mauldin.
Lawn chairs and/or blankets are welcome at the outdoor amphitheater, and leashed dogs are allowed. Outside food and beverages are prohibited at the event.
For more information, visit www.mauldinbbq.com.