Cookin’, Strummin’, and Cruisin’: Downtown Rocky Mount Hosts the 12th Annual Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown Returns


The biggest and tastiest Downtown Rocky Mount event on the calendar returns on October 11-12. There, for the 12thconsecutive year, the best in the BBQ game face off in the  Eastern Carolina BBQ Showdown. Emanating from the Helen P. Gay Historic Train Station, the professional cooking competition brings “Cookers and smokers” from across the country to try and lay claim to be the best.

Pictured are an example off the trophies for the Eastern NC BBQ Throwdown

COOKIN’ for…4 Official Categories,  30-Plus Awards but the True Winner are the Downtown Rocky Mount Judges…YOU !!!

The annual BBQ Throwdown event is a professional cooking competition set inside a weekend of fun for those of all “tastes.” Over 50 opportunities to win some type of award and a total of $20,000 cash prize money will be given out at the Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned event. The “BBQ Throwdown” cooking competition will take place in Downtown Rocky Mount throughout the day on Saturday, October 12. (See below for full schedule of events)

Four categories are required for those wanting to qualify for the Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown “Grand Championship.” These include, chicken, pork ribs, pork and beef brisket. Other awards to be given out include Reserved Grand Champion, in addition to cash awards, trophies, and plaques for those placing in first through tenth place in each category. The true winner though at the Downtown Rocky Mount event would be those partaking in the taste testing for the “People’s Choice” award, as they get to sample the delicious meats from contestants.

The popular country duo, “Smithfield” will play at the BBQ Throwdown “Kick Off” on Friday night.

STRUMMIN’ for the Downtown Rocky Mount “Kick-Off” Concert and the BBQ Stage All Weekend Long

In addition to the air being filled with delicious tastes and smells it will also be filled with tasty sounds on the BBQ Stage at Train Station Common. The live music begins at 6:00 p.m. on Friday night, October 11 with the “Kick Off”  concert, featuring the popular country duo “Smithfield.”

The “strummin’” at the Downtown Rocky Mount BBQ Stage will continue throughout the days’ events on Saturday as well with a full slate of performers beginning at 11:30 am and running through until 5:00 pm when the BBQ Awards Ceremony begins.

BBQ Stage Performers Lineup 

Saturday, October 12

  • 11:30- 1:00 p.m.- Bill Lyerly Band
  • 1:45- 3:00 p.m.- The Conspiracy Band
  • 3:30 p.m.- Hogs and Hot Rods Awards
  • 3:45- 5:00 p.m.- Rhythm Express Band
  • 5:00 p.m.- BBQ Award Ceremony

CRUISIN’ for a Great Cause at the Downtown Rocky Mount Hogs and Hot Rods Cruise-In

“Hogs and Hot Rods” is a car show that will take place during the BBQ Throwdown on Saturday. Proceeds from the event will to the Nash County Special Olympics.

As if the great food and the sweet sounds filling Downtown Rocky Mount aren’t enough, Saturday, October 12 will also see the baddest and best motorcycles and classic cars on display for the “Hogs and Hot Rods Cruise-In.”

Registration runs for this Downtown Rocky Mount event from 10:45 until 11:30 a.m. Proceeds from this event go to the Nash County Special Olympics. The voting on the entered vehicles will be from 11:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The official City of Rocky Mount website gives their description of the car show. “Competitors can cruise downtown for the opportunity to win the coolest car show trophy around and support their local community.”

12th Annual Downtown Rocky Mount Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown Schedule of Events

Friday, October 11

  • 5:00- 8:00 p.m.- Beer Garden, Food Vendors, Kids Zone
  • 6:00- 7:30 p.m.- BBQ Throwdown “Kick Off Concert” with Smithfield

Saturday, October 12

  • 10:45-11:30 a.m.- Hogs and Hot Rods Cruise-In registration
  • 11:30- 1:00 p.m.- Live Music at BBQ Stage (see schedule of performers above)
  • 11:30- 3:00 p.m- .Hogs and Hot Rods Cruise-In voting
  • 1:00 p.m.- BBQ Bucks (for tasting/judging) Go on Sale
  • 1:30- 3:30 p.m.- People’s Choice voting and samples