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Barbecue events in Charlotte

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Sample great barbecue flavors at one or more of these local events:

The 25th Annual Barbecue Festival in Lexington is Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008. An eight-block stretch of Main Street is closed to traffic and barbecue (chopped sandwiches) is served at three locations throughout the festival area. The style, called "Festival barbecue" is a result of the combined effort of seven masters of the trade. In other words, if you want Lexington #1 barbecue, you'll still need to visit that establishment. Also at the event, which draws 100,000 participants, is a "Pig-Themed" sand sculpture contest, a juried craft show, the Tour de Pig annual cycling event, the Hogway Speedway (where little pigs run for their lives, er, a prize), the 5K Hawg run, and the Hawg Shoot Air Rifle Tournament. Also Childress Vineyards (no relation to the author) winemaker Mark Friszolowski will offer the fourth release of Fine Swine Wine. He will sign purchased bottles 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. www.barbecuefestival.com.

The "granddaddy" of all barbecues is always the fourth Thursday of October at the Mallard Creek Presbyterian Church Barbecue. This year is the 79th year of the event, and organizers expect to cook 14,000 pounds of pork barbecue and 2,500 gallons of South Carolina-styled Brunswick stew. Since this event has always been scheduled a week before the election, many politicians will be on hand seeking votes. 11400 Mallard Creek Road. www.mallardcreekbbq.com.

You can smell smoke from the parking lots when the Boys Scouts make their annual barbecue. Boy Scout Troop 33 at Sardis Presbyterian Church cooks an outrageous barbecue on the Friday and Saturday before Super Bowl Sunday in the Scout Hut, across from Sardis Presbyterian Church, 6100 Sardis Road. www.troop33charlotte.org. Boy Scout Troop 355 at Sharon United Methodist Church sells their homemade "Best in the Galaxy" barbecue the third weekend in January on Friday and Saturday. They bottle three sauces: Mild, Eastern Hot and Western. www.troop355-bsa.org.

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