Capacity crowd attends New Garden BBQ fest
● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
When this year's Brandywine Backyard BBQ Festival got underway at the New Garden Township Park on April 28, a slow and steady stream of vehicles arrived in prompt observation of the noon start time.
Less than an hour into the event, however, the park's lot was full, as was the area at the township's maintenance center, forcing festival organizers to direct the overflow traffic to the New Garden Township Building on Starr Road, and ask visitors to cut through the park.
They did, and by 2 p.m., many of the 1,800 who attended the festival were scattered throughout the park in pockets of fun, food and activity.
For the second consecutive year, nearly a dozen competitors rolled their BBQ equipment and recipes to compete in the Brandywine Backyard BBQ Challenge for the right to claim the award for best chicken and/or pork ribs. After judging by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, the winning entrants were grand champion Poultrygeist, captained by Carlo Prestileo; and reserve grand champion D’Qued Barbeque, captained by Steve Dotson. The first place winner in the chicken category was If You Got It Smoke It, captained by Mike Norris; and first place in the ribs category went to Poultrygeist.
While the general public did not have the opportunity to sample any of the food entered in the competition, they did take on the culinary delights that came out of the several food trucks at the festival, including The Road Rancher, Uncle John’s BBQ, El Mercadito, 22 BBQ, Natalie’s Fine Foods, Rita’s Water Ice, Swamp Town BBQ, On The Roll and Baked of West Chester. Adults sipped on beers from Victory Brewing Company and wines from the Harvest Ridge Winery.
Two bands – The Late Ambitions and Old 442 – performed throughout the festival at the park's pavilion.
If half of the festival served as a tasty forum that determined winning BBQ entries, then its remaining half was owned by the hundreds of children in attendance, who participated in an obstacle course, ladderball, cornhole, volleyball and badminton, paintball, Twister, hula hoops and archery.
Hosted by the Chester County Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the festival raised money that helps defray the cost of scouting for young people through the Friends of Scouting Program; specifically, scouts in the Kennett Consolidated, Unionville-Chadds Ford, Avon Grove, Octorara, Oxford and Cecil County school districts. Funding will help pay for uniforms, registration fees, camps and leadership training.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email firstname.lastname@example.org.