Part of what makes judging at barbecue contests enjoyable is the opportunity to take side trips in a new area. When I learned about a contest in eastern Tennessee, I wanted to participate because this area has several places to explore early American history and culture while sampling great barbecue.
|Big Green Egg, a corporate sponsor of|
the Grills Gone Wild BBQ series, was
on scene to give advice about grills.
Grills Gone Wild and was the first time it had been held in Greeneville. Most cooking teams were from eastern Tennessee (Kingsport, Johnson City, and Knoxville were represented). However, the judges were from a wider area – neighboring states of Virginia and Alabama as well as Tennessee.
|Most teams were from Eastern Tennessee.|
|Organizers gave a cooler bag to|
|The State of Franklin, never admitted to|
the Union by Congress, did have a
governor and other officials.
Less than 25 miles away is Jonesborough, the first town formed in the area that is now Tennessee. Jonesborough had also been a capital of Franklin and was a center of abolitionist movement in the South before the American Civil War. The self-proclaimed “Storytelling Capital of the World,” it is now home to the International Storytelling Center that holds a major festival each October.
Barbecue and history are a good combination. Eastern Tennessee has long been recognized for its history; now that it’s also a venue for barbecue competitions, more people will appreciate this combination.
|The event offered several activities for children, including monster truck rides.|