News-Sun photo by KATARA SIMMONS Folks line up for ET's BBQ on Saturday morning during the Central Florida Bar-B-Que Festival at Firemen's Field in Sebring.
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published: Sunday, December 02, 2012
Barbecue from near, far takes over Firemen's Field
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING -- A whole lot of pigging out was happening Saturday during the annual Central Florida Barbecue Festival at Firemen's Field. Also known to locals as Pig Fest, the annual festival brought barbecue teams from all over the state, as well as the southeast, to spend 12 hours prepping and cooking for the Florida Barbecue Association judging.
Several barbecue teams and contestants were busy getting their meats ready for judging just around noon on Saturday.
Brad Kay, owner/cook at Lang BBQ Smokers traveled from McCormick, S.C., to have a shot at impressing the judges and taking home the first place prize.
"I've been doing this for seven years. This is my first time here in Sebring for this festival," said Kay. The cook was delicately slicing up rib pieces to prepare for the noon judging and was careful not to make any mistakes.
Across the way, several festival attendees filled the People's Choice tent to indulge on the foods prepared by the 16 contestants. Highlands Independent Bank employees were serving up plates of pork butt to each of the unofficial judges.
People's Choice is always a prestigious title for any contestant and attendees made sure to make their marks during the blind test before handing their score cards to the tent volunteers.
The Bar-b-que This team was also prepping for an upcoming judging just after noon Saturday. Spouses and cooks David and Patty Cockrell hauled their grill and trailer from Felda for the first time.
"We've been wanting to get up here for this contest for a few years, we've just never been able to. I decided this year we were going to come up and compete, so here we are," said David. "We are enjoying it. We like it a lot. We will definitely be back next year."
The husband-and-wife team won a People's Choice award in early November at the Naples Big Swamp BBQ Festival, their first one.
This year's festival featured some of Highlands County's most well-known musical acts, including the California Toe Jam Band and Jimmy and the Megabytes. A classic car show and other contest put the finishing touches on what is sure to be another successful festival for Sebring Firemen Inc.
Results were not available at press time.
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