To the delight of barbecue fans everywhere, the annual Hendersonville Pig Fest returned in style for a festive two-day event on Oct. 27 – 28, 2023. Thousands of foodies attended the event, eager to savor some of the best grilling around.
As in past years, Pig Fest was sponsored by Hendersonville Parks & Recreation, Sumner County Tourism and HolidayFest, and the event raised nearly $60,000 to support – Mary’s Magical Place, Live Love Nashville, Christmas 4 Kids and Grace Place Ministry.
The event kicked off on Friday evening with one of the City by the Lake’s favorite happenings – the Hendersonville Hometown Jam. This year’s concert included opening performances by rising stars Charly Reynolds, Clint Park, Ben Chapman and Dillon Carmichael. Following the opening acts, the Grammy award winning Kentucky Headhunters took to the stage to thrill the crowd with some of their greatest hits.
On Saturday morning, the Pig Fest resumed, with all eyes, noses and tastebuds focused on the centerpiece of the event, the barbecue competition. This year’s edition saw over 50 teams vying for top honors in six categories, including Pig Master Grand Champion, People’s Choice, Pork Ribs, Pork, Anything Butt and Dessert. Most of the grillers set up on Friday afternoon, and then spent all night and most of Saturday perfecting their culinary creations.
Entries were refereed by a team of 240 volunteer judges who received on-the-job training on the fine art of evaluating barbecue in a competitive environment. Each judge sampled all of the grilled items and rated them on several factors, including taste, appearance and aroma.
When the tastings were complete, the judges rendered their decisions, and the winners were announced. Top awards went to High Lonesome Smokers (Pig Master Grand and Pork Ribs), Smokin’ Daddies BBQ (People’s Choice), Killer B’s Backyard BBQ (Pork), Hogs B Hatin (Anything Butt) and Electro-Que-Ted (Dessert).