2012 Blue Ridge BBQ Festival

Exactly one year ago today, John and I officially started the journey of our life together.  I can’t believe it’s already been a year since we stood under that pecan tree — not to mention that we’ve already been married for almost two months!  Time needs to slow it’s roll, for real.

However, all this flying time helped summer creep up really quickly this year – which will never be something I can complain about!  I love summer and everything it entails.  Especially {this is going to sound so cheesy, but I’m dead serious} having some fun in the sun.  Whether it’s enjoying a meal, walking through the Farmer’s Market, running, playing at the pool, taking a walk around the block, going for a boat ride, or celebrating nothing in particular with friends and family, doing it outside in the sun makes things more fun, every time.  Well, at least to me.

I guess it could just be that there are more fun events offered in the summer months…who knows. Regardless of why I have more fun when the sun’s in the house, we welcomed our second adventure to the Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival in Tryon, NC on Friday with open arms.

Instead of going on Saturday like last year, we went up on Friday after work.  We got there around 6:00pm, snagged a parking place next to a giant field of peppers,

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and made our way into the festival through the bbq competitor’s campground.

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Walking through the lot where all of the chefs set up camp is one of my favorite parts about the BBQ Festival.  These people are serious about their BBQ, and they aren’t messing around with their kitchens either.

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The undeniably glorious smell of all those smokers was almost enough to make my experience complete — until we fell into the festival hole. Once inside,

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we found tons of deliciously sinful treats,

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and some really outstanding BBQ.  This year, we decided to go with Foothills Mountain Bar-B-Que.

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And a good decision it was.  I got the chicken {with a taste of pork} plate with slaw and beans,

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and John got the pork plate with slaw and beans.

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——> John wants me to tell y’all that his butt tasted better….whatever…

They were both melt-in-your-mouth, hot, sweet, tangy,  and smokey blobs of the meatiest meat in all the land.

As we enjoyed our grub, we listened to some tunes,

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and eventually headed over to check out this year’s vendors.

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There were all kinds of cool things for sale including: wooden boats,

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tiny collectables,

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pretty pottery,

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crazy hats,

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and my ultimate favorite: Artrageousfolk by Denny and Alison Maloney.  Denny {pictured below with his favorite character, “Kitty Be Good”} is the man behind these ridiculously cool and creative copper enamel creations.

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As I continued to talk with him about his work, the only thing I could say to him besides “oh my gosh this is so cool” was, “you’re one of the most creative people I’ve ever met.” And I meant it.  Y’all, he had a name and story behind every single one of his pieces.  And it all flowed so well, and I really wish I could remember all of their names. He had a wife for Kitty Be Good,

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a mermaid attached to her shell phone,

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an earring holder,

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and TONS of other unique and intriguing pieces, lots of them antique.  He can also make custom characters, which really makes me happy.  I’m looking forward to seeing Denny, Alison, and friends again sometime soon…

After we finally made it out from the artragous spell we were under, we headed back through the crowd to get some homemade strawberry ice cream,

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and to check out the games and rides.

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We didn’t take any chances with the rides, so we headed…over the river and through the woods,

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to see some of our friend’s mac n’ cheese.

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Haha.  Good song. In all seriousness, some of our friends entered the “Everything Butt” BBQ competition with some serious “Mad Hog” smoked ham mac n’ cheese.  Not only was I impressed with this cheesy delight, but also with their professional BBQ Festival camping skills.

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Before we headed back home, we made the executive decision that we {plus some of our best friends} WILL be entering the competition next year.  For real.

And it’s a good thing we enjoyed the festival on Friday night because they apparently ran out of food on Saturday since so many people came out to support the festival!  Not all a bad thing, if you ask me…

You can check out all of the photos I took at the Festival on Facebook.  Can’t wait till next year!

Have a good night and I’ll catch y’all tomorrow.  Tootles!

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