Good eats, music and weather for 5th annual BBQ fest

Contestant Bobby Grigsby preps for BBQ Fest
Contestant Bobby Grigsby preps for BBQ Fest

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Good eats, good music and good weather for the 5th Annual Downtown Jonesboro BBQ Fest.

52 competitors are in town vying for the "Grand Champion" title and $3,000 in cash.

Jackie Plunkett is part of the Pork Chop Mafia and came in from Blytheville for the event. "This is our third year here," Plunkett explained.

Part of the competition is Bobby Grigsby.

"There's a lot, a lot of good teams out here," Grigsby said.

"We've got a team all the way from Washington State," Event Coordinator, Jack Turner said regarding the festival.

Preparing for the BBQ Fest took more than just driving in.

"I'm injecting the chicken right now," Grigsby explained as he prepped just some of his food for Saturday. "When I'm done with this I'll start prepping the pulled pork and the brisket after this."

In from Bartlett, Tennessee, Grigsby is competing at the Downtown Jonesboro BBQ fest for the first time. His trophies, however, paint a picture of just how successful the "Swine Crue" has been.

"We just did La Vernia, Texas, which is just outside of San Antonio. We won 7th in brisket out of 113 teams," Grigsby said.

Turner explained many of the teams in town know exactly what they're doing.

"These are some of the professional teams that travel every week," Turner said.

But the fest brings a mix of pros and newbies.

"This is only like our 6th cook-off, so we're still new at it," Plunkett said.

No matter the competition, all contestants can agree on one thing, "It's just a good family time and a good time for everybody," Plunkett said.

"Just great meeting people here," Grigsby agreed. "Everyone is real friendly in all the contests, everybody helps everyone out it's just the comradery-ness of it all."

Event coordinator, Jack Turner said on top of all that, the event means good things for the economy in Jonesboro and Northeast Arkansas.

"Everybody's here buying our gas, buying our food, spending money in our restaurants and our shops," he said. "This is an opportunity for us to say 'thank you' to the citizens for being a part of Jonesboro and living in Jonesboro. It's for our community, but we open our door for all communities."

The event kicks off Saturday at noon with live music playing throughout the day. Lee Brice will headline at 8:30 and live wrestling with Jimmy Hart will take place at 4.

BBQ Contest Awards will be given from 4-5 p.m. on the Central Dealerships Stage off of Main Street.

For a list of road closures for the BBQ Fest, click here.

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