BBQ lovers gather at Kinston’s BBQ Fest on the Neuse


KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — “It’s just plain, whole hog cooking!” said Chris Fineran of Beach Boys BBQ.

The cookers were going. Vinegar was pouring. The smell was in the air. It’s the Barbeque Fest on the Neuse.

“What do you guys like most about BBQ?” “The flavor! The seasoning! That’s what I like it! And it’s cooked from wood,” said David and Alfreda Cogdell, enjoying barbeque at the festival.

People crowded Heritage Street in downtown Kinston for food, vendors, rides, a car show and of course, some vinegar based eastern Carolina BBQ.

“I have tasted mad BBQ around here,” said attendee, Thaddius Rouse. “But this barbeque right here is the best I ever tasted.”

The highlight of the weekend was the cooking competition.

“Probably a dozen prior state champions cook here and then all the new younger cooks coming up,” said Fineran. “It’s getting tough, it’s fierce!”

“It’s hard work,” said competitor Ernest Twisdale of team “The Grill Father”. “I enjoy doing it, love to do it. It’s just hard work because I’ve been up since 5 o’clock yesterday morning. And I got maybe two hours of sleep last night.”

Many of them had unique team names.

“Why Kermit’s Revenge?” “Well you know ah, he finally got revenge on Miss Piggy and we’re cooking BBQ!” said Jeremy Jones of team Kermit’s Revenge.

They entered in categories from professional to backyard to showmanship, plus a competition just for the sauce.

“It’s tradition! Eastern North Carolina barbeque and the vinegar based sauce, it’s just tradition,” said Fineran.

“The sauce! I got a good sauce I think and a good pig,” said Twisdale. “You’ve got to have a good pig.”

“Secret ingredient? I’d say the vinegar,” said Jones. “We’re in eastern North Carolina so it’s got to be vinegar based.”

It’s a weekend set aside to pig out and have a smoking good time!

“Just out having fun. And good BBQ! It’s the best,” said the Cogdell’s.

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