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Smoke in the 'broke?
Pembroke pastor wants to bring barbecue festival to town
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Pembroke could one day be home to “Smoke in the ’broke,” a pastor told city council Monday night.
Pembroke United Methodist Church Matt Avera spoke to council members about his vision of “tents and tents and tents and tents of barbecue stands,” filled with cookers from Georgia, South Carolina and possibly Alabama vying to see whose barbecue was best. The idea came, he said, from watching TV.
“My son and I were watching ‘Barbecue Pit Masters’ on TV one day and said, ‘why can’t that happen here,” Avera told council, and asked permission to research bringing a festival here.
But first, Mayor Mary Warnell suggested Avera, along with local cookers Ron Lewis and Joey Waters and Downtown Development Authority Director Sharroll Fanslau, put together a smaller contest to be held Oct. 25 during the city’s annual Spooktacular.
“I think this might be a good time to try it out because that’s our big fall festival day,” Warnell said, noting the fetival includes 5K and 10K runs to hay rides, pumpkin carving contests, quilt exhibits, music, a haunted house, car show and more.
The city tried a similar barbecue centered event in 2008 with its Pembroke Pig Pickin’, but it didn’t catch on. That didn’t stop folks at Monday’s council meeting from getting behind Avera’s idea.
“I know a ton of people who want to do stuff like this,” Lewis said. “We’ve got a lot of good barbecuers in our general area.”
This fall’s event will serve to see if a larger festival will work, Warnell said, giving Avera the go-ahead to investigate a full-fledged barbecue cookoff as well. And this year’s cookoff won’t be called “Smoke in the ‘broke,” apparently.
“We can call it ‘Smoke-tacular at the Spooktacular’” Fanslau said.
“I like that,” Avera said.

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