Pork Fest promises to satisfy hunger

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 1, 2004

MURFREESBORO – In less than five days, those hunger pains growling from within your stomach will be satisfied, that is if you have purchased a ticket to attend the third annual Roanoke-Chowan Pork Fest.

The &uot;big tops&uot; are already in place on the grounds of the Brady C. Jefcoat Museum of Americana for the June 5 event. There, a line-up of award-winning chefs, including Joe Peterson, the reigning R-C Pork Fest title-holder as well as the 2003 North Carolina Grand Champion cook, will compete for the 2004 first-place trophy.

But the real winners are the ticket-holders. For $15, patrons can enjoy all the lip smacking, eastern ‘Carolina-style barbecue they can eat, complete with all the traditional trimmings.

In addition, the admission price allows ticket-holders to stroll down &uot;pork alley&uot; – observing the sights of the showmanship display while taking in the aroma of roasting pork. The showmanship judging begins at 9 a.m.

From 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., festival patrons will be able to enjoy continuous musical entertainment on the outdoor main stage. Included among the musicians is Tommy Chase, the famous &uot;One Man Band&uot; from Goldsboro, along with the popular Virginia &uot;Fancy Feet&uot; Cloggers.

During that same time frame, those attending the festival can leisurely browse through an assortment of vendors that will offer a wide variety of items for sale. Included among this year’s vendors is &uot;Grandma’s Lye Soap&uot; – cooked the old-fashion way right on the grounds of the museum.

Also making a return appearance are dozens of antique automobiles that will be on display from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The world-famous Jefcoat Museum will open from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. for tours of its three floors packed with interesting items from days of yesteryear. Included in the tour are the Music Box Collection and the Native American Artifact Museum. Admission to the museum is included in the ticket price.

Beginning at 1 p.m. is the main attraction – the all-you-can-eat meal served under the big top. The meal will be served, eat-in or take-out, until 4 p.m.

Hot dogs will be sold for those looking for a quick snack prior to the main course.

In addition, the Jefcoat mascot and The Piggly Wiggly Pig will entertain children of all ages throughout the event.

&uot;Leave your cares and worries at home and spend a leisurely day in Murfreesboro, enjoying some good fun, great entertainment and excellent food,&uot; said Jimmy Gray, one of the event’s organizers.

Gray suggested that patrons wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a lawn chair.

&uot;Most of all, bring your appetite,&uot; stressed Gray.

That appetite will be satisfied by 13 of the best barbecue chefs in the state. Peterson, looking for a repeat, will be joined by the likes of Russell Snider and Leslie Deaton – both of whom posted top-five finishes at the statewide competition last year. Snider (State runner-up) and Deaton (5th place) competed in the 2003 R-C Pork Fest.

&uot;We welcome back to our event some of the top barbecue cooks in the entire state of North Carolina,&uot; said Gray. &uot;These are the people responsible for the Roanoke-Chowan Pork Fest having the reputation these past two years of serving the best pork barbecue they’ve ever eaten.&uot;

Pork-Fest tickets are now on sale at the advance purchase price of $15 for adults and children age 12 and over. Tickets (if available) the day of the Pork-Fest, June 5, will be $20.

Tickets are available at Cash and Carry in Ahoskie; King Tire Co. and Collier Harley Davidson in Roanoke Rapids; Franklin Furniture, Franklin Nursery and Bobby’s Muffler-Tire Co., all in Franklin, Va.; Pat Cleveland at Nottoway House in Courtland, Va.; Roy Lassiter in Boykins, Va.; and at the following Murfreesboro locations: Blue Front Shop, NC Auto License Office, Roberts Vaughan Village Center, Jefcoat Museum or from any member of the Pork-Fest Committee.

All proceeds benefit the Jefcoat Elevator Fund as officials with this Museum of Americana continue in their quest to offer easy access to the interesting items on the upper floors of the three-story facility. To date, $60,000 has been raised.

&uot;We’re over halfway to our $100,000 goal,&uot; said Brinson Paul, director of the Jefcoat Museum. &uot;We’re beginning to secure bids on the elevator work and hopes are high that we will be able to let the contract before the end of this year.&uot;

All donations are tax deductible.

As it has during its first two years, the 2004 version of the Roanoke-Chowan Pork Fest is an alcohol and drug-free event.