Who doesn't love some good barbecue!?! From its southern roots, this quintessential American cuisine has made its way across this great country, picking up some regional characteristics along the way. And that's why the Great Pumpkin Farm's Fall Festival annually pays homage to all that's delicious about BBQ by hosting New York state's longest continually running barbecue competition: Oinktoberfest.
Preview night is this Friday, Sept. 23, and includes free admission to the Great Pumpkin Farm. Gates open at 5 p.m., so guests can enjoy finger-licking' barbecue and, at the Witches Brew Bar & Café, even more food, plus beverages and specialty Halloween drinks.
Buffalo's own Miller and Other Sinners will provide a southern soul backdrop of music from 6-9 p.m. (Fall Festival will not be open on Friday night.)
The Fall Festival kicks off its second weekend at 10 a.m. Saturday. Judging for the Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned competition takes place beginning at noon. Awards will be given out at 5 p.m. Team entries are judged and scored according to KCBS guidelines and rules. Food categories include chicken, pork ribs, pork butt/shoulder and beef brisket. The scores of these four categories determine the grand champion.
In addition to all the regular Fall Festival activities and attractions, there will be live music all day long.
Also, the new "Zombie Train," where riders armed with paintball guns shoot at targets in the woods along the ride, will be available weekends beginning this Saturday.
On Sunday, Fall Festival events include the "Outdoor Cooking Contest & Rib-Oink Off." The cooking contest allows just about anything - grilling, smoking, frying, baking, steaming, braising - so as long as it is done outdoors. The "Rib-Oink Off" features back ribs, spare ribs or St. Louis cut ribs. Awards will be given out beginning at 5 p.m.
The popular "Whole Hog Contest" will also take place on Sunday. Entrants must cook an entire hog, weighing 40 pounds or more, fully dressed and with the head intact. Certified KCBS judges will determine the winner based on five different cuts from the hog.
Guests on Sunday can also watch the 1 p.m. home game between the Buffalo Bills and the Arizona Cardinals on a big screen TV in the beer tent.
For a complete list of events taking place at the Fall Festival Sept. 23-25, visit http://www.greatpumpkinfarm.com/WeekendTwo.asp
The Great Pumpkin Farm in Clarence has grown since 1996, when it first hosted the world pumpkin weigh-off and was included in the Guinness Book of World Records for the first 1,000-pound pumpkin. The annual Fall Festival is one of Western New York's largest fall family events.
Photos courtesy of The Great Pumpkin Farm