Surfside Beach BBQ Festival

Live music, a huge selection of food vendors, crafters, children’s activities, Greyhound adoption, voter registration and more are among BBQ festival draws this year. 

Plan to do everything from adopting a greyhound pup to registering to vote at this year’s Surfside Beach BBQ Festival.

In its 11th year, the event will be Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14 on Surfside Drive. There’ll be great entertainment, tons of vendors, activities for the little ones, and of course, BBQ and “Anything but BBQ.”

From 5-7 p.m. Friday night, competitors in the next day’s BBQ competition will offer “anything but.”

“They might have chicken wings or she crab soup, shrimp ‘n grits or chicken bog,” said Debbie Ellis, event supervisor for Surfside Beach.

“It’s just a little bowl, not a full meal,” she said, but it’s enough to whet your appetite for the next day’s BBQ.

That contest will once again, for the third year, be judged by the public.

The main event, the Surfside Beach BBQ Festival, will be from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. the next day, Saturday, March 14.

One of the returning vendors will be 13-year-old Saige Smith, who is on a mission to find homes for hundreds of greyhound dogs. They’ll be homeless when about a dozen Florida greyhound racetracks close down this year.

The daughter of Heather and Evan Smith, the St. James Middle School eighth-grader’s family has fostered three greyhounds and adopted one, Gamma Ray.

“I know if Gamma Ray was in that position and needed a home, I’d want to help him,” the teenager said.

“They’re not annoying dogs,” she added. “They’re laid back, and they can bark, but they just don’t.”

At Smith’s booth, guests will be able to arrange to foster or adopt a dog, or donate to the cause through Greyhound Pets of America in Charleston. That website is www.adoptcharlestongreys.org.

This year’s entertainment will be provided by Alan Bibey & Grasstowne from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and the Josh Brannon Band from 1-4 p.m.

Alan Bibey, who plays the mandolin, was voted Mandolin Performer of the Year by the

Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America [SPBGMA] six times, and has been included in the Mel Bay book, “Greatest Mandolin Players of the Twentieth Century.”

The Josh Brannon Band is made up of Tanner Beck, John Spukla, Rob Brennen, Worth King, and of course, Brannon.

Brannon’s band has returned to the Surfside Beach festival year after year because “We’ve created a little family of fans in Surfside Beach,” Brannon, who lives in Surfside Beach, said. “We have a way of engaging with the fans who live there, and we like talking with them.”

Lots of vendors, including the Surfside Beach stormwater committee, a woodworker, the South Enders Democratic Club, the Surfside Beach Historical Society, sweetgrass weavers and the Myrtle Beach Veterans Affairs clinic will be on hand.

Jupiter Pies, Benjamin’s Bakery and a brand-new produce vendor will be there as well.

About 4,000 people are expected at this year’s festival, which Ellis said is the fastest-growing event in Surfside Beach.

“Bluegrass, country and BBQ all go together,” Ellis said about the success of the festival.

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I'm the assistant editor of the Carolina Forest Chronicle. I write news and business features. Have a great story idea? Please call me at 843-602-9306.

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