March 19, 2021 – March 20, 2021
When the smell of barbecue wafts over Walterboro, you know it’s time for the annual Smoke in the ‘Boro festival.
This South Carolina Barbecue Association event lasts two days. Make plans to be there.
On the opening Friday, the public is welcome from 5:30-8 p.m. Saturday afternoon, the event runs from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
More importantly, the festival is free and open to the public.
The Coastal Electric Trust and the Colleton Center co-host this SCBA cook-off. They host the event at the Outback facility on Jefferies Boulevard.
Wayne and Len Keith, both experienced SCBA-certified BBQ judges, launched Smoke in the ‘Boro. The Keith family boasts a lifetime of experience in the barbeque world.
In fact, they used to own Keith’s Red Barn Barbeque in Walterboro. Unfortunately, the restaurant closed a while back. However, that spirit lives on in Smoke in the ‘Boro.
Reason for the Festival
In short, the event supports two great local organizations.
The Colleton Center works to restore the historic Hampton Street Elementary School. Proceeds from the events help with funding needed repairs and upgrades to the auditorium. This is important work.
Also doing important work is the Coastal Electric Cooperative.
Their own Operation Round Up works as a community service assistance program. They use all contributions to assist local individuals or families with special needs or requests.
However, they never give money to the people making the request. They use these funds to pay bills or for services directly.
Smoke in the ‘Boro consists of two separate events.
Firstly, they sponsor the “Anything Butt” competition on Friday. The cook teams competing prepare anything of their choice.
They could serve anything from chicken wings to seafood. Anything goes except barbeque.
Local judges from around the county evaluate the entries that evening. The next day during the awards ceremony, SCBA officials announce the Anything Butt winner and award a prize to the chosen team.
Friday night and into the next day, all teams cook their Boston butts and ribs. The teams must submit their entries for judging on Saturday morning.
At that time, up to forty SCBA-certified and novice-level judges assess the entries. Moreover, everything is conducted in accordance with SCBA requirements and guidelines.
“Smoke in the ‘Boro has grown each year,” said Tracy Johnston. Johnston serves as Chair of the Colleton Center.
“We are truly grateful to the Keith family, Coastal Electric Co-op, and the many volunteers for making Smoke in the ‘Boro possible for our community. During this family-oriented weekend, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.”
At 11:00 a.m. Saturday morning, the gates open to the public. Tasting runs until 2 p.m.
On both Friday and Saturday, admission is free.
The public may purchase tasting tickets for $1 each to sample barbecue from their choice of cooking teams. In addition, soft drinks, water, beer, and wine may be purchased through ticket purchases.
Also on Saturday, local church groups hold bake sales to raise funds. Smoke in the ‘Boro also hosts a car show in the front parking lot of Coastal Electric.
The Cub Scouts will be holding their Pinewood Derby, and other activities, such as face painting, will be available for children.
Finally, live bands play music throughout the day. Everyone is invited.
Learn More about Smoke in the ‘Boro
First, we have a segment about Smoke in the ‘Boro BBQ from Charleston’s news station WCBD News 2:
Below, we have a lengthy interview with Wayne Keith from PRCT Channel 57.
In the interview, you will hear inside information about the reasons behind the event. Keith also discusses the partnerships that keep Smoke in the ‘Boro going.
In addition, you’ll enjoy a bit of history about the family restaurant and more:
If you’re interested in keeping up with SC BBQ events throughout the year, check out our SC BBQ Events Calendar.