April 14 – April 15
The annual Youth Mentors of the Pee Dee BBQ Festival takes place behind Palmetto Peddlers on Darlington Street. The two-day event features competition-quality barbecue smoked by some of the Southeast’s best pitmasters.
The BBQ Cook-Off stands as one of the major fundraising opportunities allowing the Youth Mentors of the Pee Dee to continue to provide services to local children.
Annual BBQ Fundraiser:
- Friday night – Anything Butt Contest, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
- Saturday night – BBQ Cook-off, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
The event kicks off on Friday night. That evening features the “Anything Butt” competition. During this competition, competitors could prepare wings, shrimp and grits, pineapple upside-down cake, banana pudding…basically any food other than barbecue.
“They could prepare their favorite dish of anything they wished, except barbecue,” noted Joey Edwards, who serves as director of Youth Mentors of the Pee Dee. “They compete in two divisions in this competition: sweet and savory.”
South Carolina Barbeque Association (SCBA) judges declare each division winner on Saturday. The Youth Mentors of the Pee Dee BBQ Festival also includes the barbecue competition.
Members of the public can sample the barbecue from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Judges from the SCBA determine who takes home trophies and cash prizes. The top cash prize is $1,000.
“The Youth Mentors of the Pee Dee BBQ Festival is a South Carolina Barbeque Association-sanctioned event,” Edwards said. “These people travel from event to event to earn points toward the state championship.”
Youth Mentors of the Pee Dee invite the public to come out for both days. Festival-goers can be purchase wristbands at the gates. They sell for $10 per person and allow wearers to enter and to eat. Palmetto Peddlers is on Hoffmeyer Road near the intersection with Darlington Street.
Children 12 and under accompanied by a paying adult get in free. The Youth Mentors of the Pee Dee offer activities like inflatables and face painting for the children.
All proceeds from the event will benefit Youth Mentors of the Pee Dee.
Youth Mentors of the Pee Dee is a United Way organization with the mission to improve the lives of area youth through mentoring. Youth Mentors help fill the void in a child’s life when one or more of the child’s parents are absent. Volunteers typically spend two or three hours a week with their mentees.
“We have about 300 clients,” Edwards said. “We work with children from single-parent homes and pair them with a mentor with similar interest.”
If you’re interested in keeping up with SC BBQ events throughout the year, check out our SCBBQ Events Calendar.