April 27-28, 2018 • Florence, Alabama • McFarland Park

FAQs

For the Community

Who is putting on the Festival?

The festival is being sponsored by the Rotary Club of Florence and the Greater Shoals Rotary Club.

Who is the Festival benefitting?

Proceeds of the festival benefit Shoals Scholar Dollars. To learn about the program, visit ShoalsScholarDollars.com.

What is the Festival?

The Festival’s main event is a “Backyard Barbeque Contest.” BBQ teams complete for trophies and prize money with BBQ judged by KCBS certified barbeque judges and also by “People’s Choice Judges” (see below). The festival also includes all-day live entertainment, a “Cruise-In” car show, all types of vendors, the Shoals Championship Cornhole Tournament, and activities for kids.

WHILE THE BBQ LASTS, become a “People’s Choice Judge.” Come taste a small sample of some of the participating cook team’s BBQ and then vote for your favorite. The People’s Choice Winner will be announced mid-afternoon. People’s Choice tickets are $5 in addition to your paid festival entry fee.

When is the Festival?

Saturday, April 28, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. until.

Where is the Festival?

McFarland Park on the banks of the Tennessee River in Florence, Alabama.

How can I help?

Purchase an Armband and Attend the Festival!” Your ticket gives you access to everything the festival offers .

Become a Festival Sponsor. We have sponsorship opportunities beginning at $100. Depending on sponsorship level, we offer many incentives. See the sponsorship tab for more information.

Support our sponsors and vendors. Without our sponsors and vendors, the event could not happen.

Cost To Attend?

A $15 donation to Shoals Scholar Dollars is the cost of admission for Adults 18 and older. Children under 18 enter free with a paying parent.

Tickets for the People’s Choice Competition (BBQ sampling and voting) are an additional $5 per person (adult or child).

For Cook Teams

Who is putting on the event?

The event is being sponsored by the Rotary Club of Florence and the Greater Shoals Rotary Club.

Who is the event benefitting?

Proceeds of the event will benefit Shoals Scholar Dollars. To learn about the program, visit ShoalsScholarDollars.com.

Who can participate?

Almost anyone can put together a team to participate in the Backyard Barbeque Contest. If you have an interest and think you have a knack for cooking great barbeque, you can probably enter.

Who cannot participate?

Professional teams are not permitted to participate in KCBS Backyard Contests.

What is KCBS and ABA?

KCBS is the Kansas City Barbeque Society. KCBS establishes rules, sanctions events, trains judges, etc. ABA is the Alabama BBQ Association. The Smoke on the Water Backyard Barbeque Contest (SOTW Contest) is a KCBS and ABA sanctioned event. To learn more about KCBS, visit their website at kcbs.us. Learn about the Alabama BBQ Association at AlabamaBBQassociation.com.

What will teams cook?

The contest will be judged on Chicken, Ribs, and Pork. Teams will supply their own Chicken, Ribs and Pork.

Who will judge the contest?

The contest will use judges certified by KCBS.

Where is the event being held?

The event is being held at McFarland Park in Florence, AL. The park is located on the north side of the Tennessee River and has a spectacular view of the river and the bluffs on the south side of the river. The park offers many amenities. For information about the park, visit FPRD.com. The event will be held at the main event area of the park, adjacent to the boat launch and beach areas.

What about electrical, water and restrooms?

Electrical outlets and water faucets are available onsite and access is included in your fee. Bring your own extension cords and water hoses. There are restroom facilities onsite. However, to assure your own needs, you may want to bring your own personal hygiene items such as toilet paper, Clorox cleaning wipes, etc.

When will the contest begin/end?

The contest will be held on Friday and Saturday, April 27-28, 2018. Teams can arrive Friday beginning at 10:00 a.m. Turn-in for People’s Choice will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday. KCBS Judging will begin at noon Saturday. Awards will be presented at 3:00 Saturday.

What is the People’s Choice Contest?

The People’s Choice Contest is optional, but we encourage you to participate. Funds raised through this competition make the festival and BBQ Contest possible.

For this contest, the Festival will provide you with two Boston Butts to cook. Turn-in for the People’s Choice Competition will be 11:00 a.m. on Saturday. We will serve the BBQ for you.

Participating teams will be randomly divided into groups. Festival attendees will become “community judges.” These community judges will be able to obtain a small sample of Boston Butt BBQ from each team in a group and then vote for their favorite BBQ. Prize money and a trophy will be awarded to the winner of each group of teams.

This is a separate competition and these Boston Butts do not go to the KCBS Judges.

How much is the entry fee for the contest?

$135 for a 20 X 20 foot space
$150 for a 20 X 40 foot space
Additional $15 camping fee for Campers and RV’s
(Includes People’s Choice Contest)

What are the awards for the winners?

Trophies and prize money will be given for the Grand Champion; Reserve Champion (2nd overall); 1st through 5th place each for Chicken, Pork and Ribs; and the winners of each group participating in the People’s Choice Contest.

Prize money will total at least $6,000.

Teams placing 6th through 10th for Chicken, Pork and Ribs will be recognized at the awards ceremony.

What about weather? What about cancellations?

Weather in April in the South can be unpredictable. However, we plan to go forward regardless of the forecast.

Your commitment to participate ensures that we can pay our commitments to cook team winners.

No refunds after Saturday, April 21, 2018. If you cannot participate for any reason after that time, your entry fees will be considered a contribution to Shoals Scholar Dollars.

For Vendors

What are the dates/times?

The Festival will be held on Saturday, April 28, 2018. Vendors can arrive to begin set-up at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning. ALL VENDOR VEHICLES MUST LEAVE THE EVENT FEILD BY 8:30 A.M. The festival be open from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Where is the event being held?

The festival is being held at McFarland Park in Florence, AL. The park is located on the north side of the Tennessee River and has a spectacular view of the river and the bluffs on the south side of the river. For information about the park, visit FPRD.com. The festival will be held at the main event area of the park, adjacent to the boat launch and beach areas.

What is the expected turnout?

Our 2017 estimated attendance was approximately 2,000.

How will sites be assigned?

Vendors will be placed in the main beachfront grass area. Vendors will be grouped according to type and then assigned to a designated area. Spaces within that area will then be taken by vendors on a first arrive, first choice basis with event staff monitoring vendor spacing.

What about electrical?

Electrical outlets are available onsite at no additional fee. However, we cannot guarantee the closeness of your proximity to an outlet, but we will do our best. Bring your own extension cords.

What about weather? Other cancellations?

Weather in April in the South can be unpredictable. However, we plan to go forward regardless of the forecast. No refunds if the event goes forward.

In the event the Festival must be cancelled due to weather, we will try to establish an alternate date.