Two-day barbecue festival caters to the Clermont, Fla., community
Beginning as a community event, this pork-filled extravaganza is turning into one of the largest sanctioned barbecue cook-offs in Florida.
More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the 12th Annual Pig on the Pond event in Clermont, Fla., on March 12 and 13, 2010. For families and local barbecue connoisseurs the event is an opportunity to socialize at the city’s Waterfront Park, but for 30 professional barbecue teams it is all business.
“The barbecue has basically become the center of the festival,” said Cheryl Fishel, a longtime Pig on the Pond organizer. “I have been told we have one of the top barbecue events in the state of Florida. We probably have the highest attendance and the largest event. Most barbecue events you go to and they just have the barbecue teams out there. We take it and bring in our community to participate.”
While the professional barbecue cook-off is the central feature of Pig on the Pond, the event caters to more than 20 local, not-for-profit agencies.
“This event was started as part of a strategic plan to do a fundraiser for the nonprofit agencies in the community,” Fishel said. “What makes it so special is it is for the kids. It’s for the kids to go to YMCA camp, to get scholarships to go to college, for them to play in the band at high school; anything to do with education and scholarships, and people are here raising money for it.”
The Pig on the Pond especially caters to the hungry appetite. On the Friday before the event, the event kicks off with a Chili Challenge, a community cook-off of amateur chili cookers. For $5, visitors can enter the main tent to sample the chili concoctions. With live entertainment and a generous helping of chili, the event turns up the heat for Saturday’s top billing.
Joining the professional barbecue teams are a full slate of entertainment and fun. On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Pig on the Pond features eating contests for children and adults, carnival rides, arts and crafts, live entertainment and a dessert bake-off.
Barbecue Alley is where event-goers can purchase BBQ samples from teams that are competing in the competition.
For more information about the 12th Annual Pig on the Pond, call (352) 516-5897, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.pigonthepond.org.