Kinston getting ready for BBQ Festival

KINSTON, NC (WITN) While continuing to watch and wait for the Neuse River to crest -- plans for Kinston's annual Barbecue Festival -- are moving forward.

On Tuesday, Debbie Burner was out preparing her game booth for the festival.

Burner says, "This is our second year coming out. We make it about family, we make it about kids."

Kids who will come from all across the east to the festival to try and win a prize, get some fair food, or to try some local eastern Carolina snacks.

But what's most known about the festival - is the barbecue

Tammy Kelly is the cookoff chairperson and says, "It brings everybody together. It brings the community out."

Each year the Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce hosts the festival.

Carnival rides will begin Wednesday -- but the barbecue festivities will begin on Friday in downtown Kinston.

Kelly says, "We have a southern sides competition and they can taste the southern sides, and this year it's macaroni and cheese so it's fabulous. We have a sauce boss competition. We have two other pigs cooked where you can taste all the sauce and vote on your favorites."

Those events are scheduled for Saturday.

Kelly says to participate in voting -- you'll need to purchase a six or ten dollar wristband.

In addition to friendly competition -- barbecue plates will be sold -- and hundreds of vendors will be set up.

Because of all the work that goes into the festival -- Kelly says -- while watching and mindful of the rising Neuse River -- the festival must go on.

Kelly says, "It's such a huge festival, it's grown so big, I don't even know how we'd postpone it at this point."

The committee says the location of the festival is on the high side of the river -- so they don't expect the Neuse River to cause problems.

Kelly says around 90 teams overall -- are competing in either the sauce, southern sides or barbecue competition.

WITN is a proud sponsor of the festival and we'll be there throughout the weekend, so we hope you'll stop by and say hello.