Home » Road Trips » Weekend Getaways » EXPLORE AMERICA: Barbecue Festival

EXPLORE AMERICA: Barbecue Festival

Hog heaven: a pulled pork sandwich with cole slaw and hush puppies in uptown Lexington, NC

This festival might be the closest you’ll ever get to hog heaven. Each October, uptown Lexington pigs out on more than 11,000 pounds of sweet, smoky barbecue. Here there’s even barbecue for breakfast. Starting at 10 a.m., festival volunteers dish out generous heaps of chopped pork shoulder, coleslaw, and hush puppies all day long under big barbecue tents. Wander the street festival (with ‘cue in hand, of course), and you’ll hear music wafting from six stages. The most popular events celebrate the star of the weekend—the pig. At the festival’s Hogway Speedway, specially bred and trained pigs race around an oval track. It’s a longstanding tradition, and the animals take the competition seriously. On Main Street, you can watch artists build a larger-than-life pig-themed sand sculpture, and then stop by the souvenir tent for a bottle of Richard Childress Fine Swine Wine to take home.

Don’t miss the whimsical and wonderful pig sand sculpture, one of the top attractions here. Artists spend more than a week shaping the 50-ton, 20′ x 24′ creation, completing it on the day of the festival. Each year features a new theme. Festival-goers have seen Mt. Pigmore (think Mt. Rushmore with pigs instead of presidents), Hee Hawg (porcine musicians and square dancers), Pig Pen (pigs stacked in a sty), and Pigskin Bowl (pigs playing football). The masterpieces often last up to a month. Look for the latest creation on Main Street.

The Barbecue Festival will be held in uptown Lexington, North Carolina, on October 23rd, 2010. Telephone (336) 956-1880. http://www.barbecuefestival.com

Photo credit: ©Enigma/Alamy