WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WJBF) – Boss Hog Cook-off Veterans and newcomers to the competition both said they’re looking forward to having fun – but they don’t call it a cook-off for nothing.
The two-day barbecue competition is one of the biggest in the southeast, with pitmasters from neighboring states hoping to secure a spot in the lineup.
“It takes a lot of money to put on something this large, but it is a lot of fun and it makes my job very enjoyable,” said Nan Lynch, the co-organizer of Boss Hog Cook-off.
The event grows every year, with 42 teams competing this round.
Lynch said it’s taken about six months to put together, and is a great economic boost for Waynesboro.
“I’ve already seen online sales from Nashville, from North Carolina, I’ve got some from Connecticut believe it or not, Pennsylvania that have already been online and bought tickets,” she said. “I know that our hotels are full, I know that our b-and-b is sold out. That’s the whole point of this, to bring community involvement but also help downtown growth.”
Big J and Bubba’s Barbecue Team has been a contestant since the competition’s early years, and they’re hoping to take home some more trophies this year.
“We’re gonna hit local, we’re gonna hit the best style, we’re gonna hit all of em,’ people’s choice, we got all that,” said Bubba and Big J. “We look forward to it, but it’s all about having fun. Meeting new teams, our whole family enjoys being out here.”
This is Cooters-n-Smoke BBQ Team’s first time competing at Boss Hog, after being on the waitlist for the past three years. They’re hoping their Florida barbecue can win over the hearts of these Georgians.
“We’d be okay with top five. In this field that’d be great,” said Kenneth Shiflett and Daniel Tomlinson. “I mean we’re just, we’re going to pray to the barbecue gods smile on us this weekend. Gonna turn in the best product we can turn in and see where it falls.”
Along with the food, live music and rides for kids draw in visitors from all over.
“Even if it’s raining we’re here and we’d love to have you,” Nan Lynch said.
Friday night’s festivities last until 11 p.m. Drew Parker is the headliner, and he hits the stage tonight at 9:30. There will also be a fireworks show.
Day two of the cook-off starts on Saturday at 10 a.m. You can buy tickets at bosshogcookoff.com.