RIDGEWAY − The first weekend of November is upon us and we know what that means in Fairfield County: the return of Pig on the Ridge.
The state’s largest cook-off begins tonight with various offerings from the competing teams, although no pigs are allowed on opening night.
The BBQ is Saturday only and it will go fast. Judging will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and awards will be presented at 2 p.m. Teams will be broken up into professional and amateur categories with awards being presented to the best of each.
The cook-off is sanctioned by South Carolina Barbecue Association.
In addition to fantastic food, Friday evening will include children’s activities and crafts. Beginning at 7 p.m., there will be shag dancing on Palmer Street until 10 p.m. On Dogwood Avenue, there will be a street party from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Vendors and craft booths will line the downtown streets.
On Saturday, the arts and crafts will continue along with children’s activities. Several DJ’s will provide music and entertainment along with some local favorites. A classic car display planned on Dogwood Avenue at 10 a.m. Saturday as well. At 12:30 p.m., there will be a hog-calling contest which is sure to be entertaining.
Last year’s Pig on the Ridge featured rain and even snow. The forecast doesn’t seem to be doing many favors this year either as thunderstorms are likely Saturday. Friday night may see a break in the wet weather, however. Despite the forecast, there is a good time planned for all and there will certainly be food so good you may want to do some hog-calling yourself.
The steering committee for Pig on the Ridge, South Carolina’s largest barbecue festival, announced the donation of $2,000 to the Central South Carolina Chapter of the American Red Cross to support Midlands-area flood victims.
The donation, raised by the annual Pig on the Ridge cook-off, is being made on behalf of the community of Ridgeway, which hosts the annual festival. The donation was made from the festival’s contingency fund.
“Our hearts go out to the many South Carolinians affected by the recent flooding,” said Tom Connor, chairman of the Pig on the Ridge Steering Committee. “People from across the region have supported our festival for 17 years, and this donation is being done on behalf of the Ridgeway community, which has contributed so much to make Pig on the Ridge a success.”
Pig on the Ridge began in 1999 as part of the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the settlement of Ridgeway. Since then, the festival has become a major fund-raising event, raising thousands of dollars for area charitable causes.
Admission to Pig on the Ridge is free, and free parking is available throughout the downtown area. Tickets for food on Friday night and Saturday can be purchased on site.
Visitors can also tour points of interest, including the World’s Smallest Police Station and the historic Century House, old Town Hall and former mercantile buildings now serving as offices, shops, restaurants and museums.