By Jeff Dennis
The annual festivals held at Bay Creek Park at Edisto Beach are back up and running again, after a long layoff due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the large events are put on by a promoter or organization, such as Shag Fest or the Governor’s Cup. This barbecue cooking competition is actually run by the Town of Edisto Beach, in order to pay for the annual upkeep expenses associated with their beautiful waterfront park.
Proceeds from the 2021 Cookin’ On The Creek will go towards security lighting, changing locks damaged by salt air, and even a few picnic tables.
Kelly Moore is the Special Events Coordinator for the Town of Edisto Beach. “This will be the 2nd Annual Cookin’ On The Creek, with the first one held in 2019,” said Moore. “We learned a lot in 2019 and were all set for success this year. This is a sanctioned event by the S.C. Barbecue Association, and they will send a Marshall to oversee the judging, which is done by individuals that have met the criteria required to wear a judging apron. This is a serious competition for the twelve teams we have coming here to cook meat.”
The schedule begins on Friday, November 5 with a Wing Cookin’ Contest. “The teams travel with some big cooking rigs, so we’ll spend the day getting them situated in the park, before opening the gates to the public at 6 p.m.,” said Moore.
The Shem Creek Boogie Band will play from 6 pm to 9 pm on Friday, and the chicken wings will be judged by local sponsors and celebrities. The Town of Edisto will present Cookin’ On The Creek cutting boards to the chicken wing winners.
“The barbecue teams will cook Boston Butts before on Saturday and we open the gates from 11 am to 4 pm,” said Moore. “Each team is provided with one case of eight Boston Butts, with those costs covered by the $225 entry fee cooking teams pay to compete. The Town of Edisto will provide cooking grade wooden paddles to the Boston Butt winning teams. The band Boss Hawg will play music on Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm, and we will have separate daily admission tickets and weekend passes for those that want to come eat with us both days.”
Daily admission is $10, and weekend passes are $15, with kids under 12 allowed inside for free. Once inside the event, tickets for food and beverage are available for purchase. This is a rain or shine event, so dress according to the weather. Bringing a lawn chair is encouraged in order to maximize enjoyment of the great food and good music on both days.
There is an awards ceremony at 3 p.m. on Saturday, when the big money prizes will be on the line. The first-place prize for the Boston Butts competition is a smokin’ hot $1200, plus the Bragging Rights to the 2021 Cookin’ On The Creek title.
The second place for Boston Butts is $750, third place is $500, fourth place is $350 and fifth place is $200. First Place for Chicken Wings is $500, which is no chicken scratch, while second place is $250 and third place is $100.
All judging will be done using the Rules and Regulations of the S.C. Barbecue Association.
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