‘Princes of Pork’ return May 14

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 26, 2005

MURFREESBORO – The &uot;Princes of Pork&uot; are set to return.

Featuring a line-up of award-winning barbecue chefs, the fourth annual Roanoke-Chowan Pork Fest is on tap for May 14 on the grounds of the Brady C. Jefcoat Museum, the former Murfreesboro High School located on High Street.

Advance tickets, which always are fast sellers, are now on sale for $15 per person. Tickets that remain, if any, will be sold first-come, first-serve for $20 per person on the day of the event.

Those seeking advance tickets can find them at the Roberts Vaughan Village Center, the Jefcoat Museum or from any museum volunteer.

Tickets can also be purchased by mail at PO Box 3, Murfreesboro, NC, 27855. Please state the number of tickets needed and be sure to enclose a self-addressed envelope to assure proper mail delivery. Make checks payable to the Pork Fest.

All proceeds benefit the Jefcoat Museum.

For the price of admission, festival goers are treated to a slice of barbecue heaven as some of the state’s most renowned chefs have already entered into a race to see whose pork will be judged as the best in the Roanoke-Chowan area. Past winners of this event have gone on to capture the North Carolina championship.

&uot;Many who have attended the R-C Pork Fest over the years say this is the best-tasting barbecue they have ever eaten,&uot; said Jimmy Gray, one of the event’s organizers. &uot;The teams entered this year are among the finest chefs in the state. I know you will agree with that statement once you eat their pork.&uot;

Gray added that 14 teams have registered for this year’s event.

Once all that lip-smacking pork has been judged, it will be finely chopped and seasoned with Murfreesboro’s famous, but highly secretive, barbecue sauce and served to a hungry horde of ticket-holders in an all-you-care-to-eat variety. Deliciously seasoned potatoes, savory cole slaw and home-cooked hush puppies round out this meal fit for a king.

While the meal is the drawing card, patrons will also be treated to numerous &uot;side shows,&uot; all included in the admission price.

From 8:30 until 11 a.m., barbecue lovers can take a 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. NC Pork Council judges will begin making their rounds at 10 a.m. to each cooking site.

From 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., festival patrons will be able to enjoy continuous musical entertainment on the outdoor main stage. 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.

Also making a return appearance are dozens of antique automobiles that will be on display from 10 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 Tony Martin’s Native American Artifact Museum.

Since last year’s Pork Fest, the museum has added an elevator, which proves helpful for those who have a tough time walking up and down the three flights of stairs.

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.

As it has during its first three years, the 2005 version of the Roanoke-Chowan Pork Fest is an alcohol and drug-free event.