The inaugural SMITHFIELD CUP pits the BBQ teams from North Carolina and South Carolina in a battle for state supremacy –


ELIZABETHTOWN, NC – (May 16, 2024) – The inaugural Smithfield Cup will take place this fall in historic Elizabethtown, pitting barbecue teams from North Carolina and South Carolina against each other in a battle for BBQ supremacy.

The new event will take place on Sunday, October 13th on the scenic grounds of Cape Fear Distillery. A select group of pitmasters from the Carolinas will prepare pork samples from title sponsor Smithfield Foods, which operates the world's largest pork processing plant in the nearby Tar Heel.

Additionally, the City of Elizabethtown is one of several sponsors of this unique dining experience.

Guests at the event will be provided samples of chopped barbecue, ribs and more, as well as a Southern side from each team. They then cast their People's Choice vote for the best BBQ. The winning team receives the Smithfield Cup and displays the trophy in that winning state for one year.

The Smithfield Cup is scheduled for noon to 5 p.m. and general admission is $20. A limited number of VIP early bird tickets are available for $40. This VIP experience brings guests into the event at 11 a.m. (one hour before general admission to beat the crowds) and allows for a second taste of each of the team's offerings.

Tickets for active and retired military are $15 and children 14 and under are FREE.

The two barbecue teams will consist of two professional pitmasters and two amateurs. The professionals from North Carolina are Lewis Donald from Sweet Lew's BBQ in Charlotte, NC, and Jake Wood from Lawrence Barbecue in Durham, NC. The professionals from South Carolina are Dylan Cooke by Fork Grove Barbecue in Anderson, SC, and Robbie Robinson out City Limits Barbecue in Columbia, SC

“It’s exciting to celebrate one of our region’s agricultural industries with a true culinary experience that everyone can enjoy,” said Elizabethtown Mayor Sylvia Campbell. “We know this event will bring more people to tour our beautiful small town, shop downtown and discover what Southern hospitality is all about.”

“We are thrilled to open our doors to Elizabethtown and share our rich heritage through one of our top attractions,” added Elizabethtown Town Manager Dane Rideout. “What better way to celebrate than with a showdown between BBQ masters from North Carolina and South Carolina? No matter who wins, participants are in for a delicious experience.”

The barbecue competition also features live music and entertainment, a classic car exhibit, a children's zone with a petting zoo, a tasting and competition from barbecue sauce and rub vendors from sponsor Carolina CoPacking, and a selection of local craft beer, wine and spirits .
Cape Fear Distillery, one of the event's presenting sponsors, is now one of the leading distilleries in North Carolina. It offers 13 different spirits and a wide selection of wines.

Elizabethtown, with its charming downtown, celebrated its 250th anniversary.Th Anniversary in 2023. The Bladen County city is located about an hour northwest of Wilmington, 35 miles south of Fayetteville and 20 minutes from Lumberton.

Tarheel Festivals will host the Smithfield Cup. They also host the fourth annual Pinehurst Barbecue Festival in the village of Pinehurst over Labor Day weekend.

For Smithfield Cup tickets and more information, log in

About Tarheel Festivals:

Tarheel Festivals, LLC is a full-service event management and production company headquartered in Pinehurst. With over 40 years of experience producing signature events, the professional team creates festival experiences from inspiration to integration.

As an official event partner of the Pinehurst-Southern Pines-Aberdeen Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), Tarheel Festivals, LLC will also host the fourth annual Pinehurst Barbecue Festival on Labor Day weekend and the sixth annual Festival D'Avion at Moore Country Airport on March 26 .October 2024.

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