BRE BBQ crew

From left to right, Ashe County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kitty Honeycutt, James Killian, Butch Philips, Valencia Van Orsdel, John Smyre, Randy Coakley, President and Executive Director of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation Jesse Pope, Blue Rudge Theater owner Steve Mochen, Michelle Swan, Edward Hinson from Skyline/Skybest and Catherine Steele.

WEST JEFFERSON — At a meeting with county and local business officials on Monday, Oct. 29, Blue Ridge Theater and Event Center owner Steve Mochen announced that the center will host a competition barbecue event in August 2019.

The event will feature 40 competitors during two days, and will be the largest event in North Carolina sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society. The teams will include 20 from North Carolina and five from Tennessee, five from Virginia and five from South Carolina, with five additional wild card teams.

James Kilian, who has been involved in competitive barbecue since 1998, will assist in putting on the event and was a member of the 2006 world champion team, Jack’s Old South.

“If you’ve ever had competition barbecue, you’ll never go to another barbecue restaurant in again,” Killian said. “It is the best barbecue in the world.”

While the competitors will be set up to the right of the building, the event will also feature a litany of local breweries and wineries on the other side, who will be showing off their best creations.

“This is going to be a tremendous boost to the county,” Killian said. “There’s not a contest like this in August, and everybody likes to come to the mountains in August to get away from the heat.”

Killian said that with the closing of the Blue Ridge BBQ Festival, which was held annually in Tryon, this new event will act as the North Carolina State Championship, with bragging rights and thousands of dollars up for grabs.

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