By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
A barbecue competition is coming to Laurel Park, but there's a catch
08302018 BARBECUE 1.jpg
Pork butts sit in the smoker on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018, at Smoke House BBQ in Oakwood. The smoker was moved from the restaurant's original location and boasts heavy seasoning from its years in use.

Fire up the smoker and fire up the grill, it’s time for barbecue in the park 

Hawgin’ on Lanier, a barbecue competition at Laurel Park, is starting back up Aug. 2-3 after going dormant for a few years.

Hawgin’ on Lanier

What: Barbecue competition

When: Aug. 2-3

Where: Laurel Park, 3100 Old Cleveland Highway, Gainesville

How much: Free to spectate

More info: www.hawginonlanier.com

The event is being tabbed as not open to the public — no tastings, no craft vendors, no bounce houses — but organizer Stan Kaminski said people are still welcome to come enjoy the sights and smells of the barbecue.

“It’s an awesome park, it’s a great venue,” Kaminski said. “It’s a great area and it’s on the lake and that's why I brought it back.”

Kaminski said there are 40 professional division teams and 20 backyard division teams signed up for the Kansas City Barbecue Society- and Georgia BBQ Championship-sanctioned event.

Professional teams will compete in chicken, pork ribs, pork butt and brisket. Backyard teams will compete in chicken, pork ribs and pork butt.

“Since all these (barbecue) events were being cancelled in my area, I brought it back because I just love barbecue,” Kaminski said.

Teams are coming from all over Georgia and from Tennessee and South Carolina. They’re all competing for the grand prize of $1,200. Other cash prizes will be awarded in various categories.

Teams will arrive and start setting up Friday, Aug. 2. Barbecue will be turned in and judged starting at noon Saturday, Aug. 3. Awards will be given out around 5 p.m. Saturday.

Registration is still open and costs $300 for professional teams and $150 for backyard teams. 

“I’ve been cooking in my backyard, building smokers and stuff like that (for a long time),” Kaminski said. “It’s fun, it’s a hobby and it’s a close barbecue friendship network. You see a lot of the same teams year in and year out in the Southeast that know each other and all get along.”

Professional teams:
  • Angry Jack BBQ, Woodstock

  • Atlanta BBQ Store, Statham

  • Bald Hawg BBQ, Simpsonville, South Carolina

  • Baldy's Butts, Cartersville

  • Big B's BBQ, Jefferson

  • Binge-n-on BBQ, Cumming

  • Bubba Grills, Haddock

  • Butt Naked Smoking Team, Athens

  • Claude's Q, Cumming

  • Crimson Q, Cleveland

  • Deep South BBQ, Cumming

  • FYC BBQ, Dunwoody

  • Hold Your Horses BBQ, Griffin

  • Hootie Q, Winder

  • J. Holt's Smokehouse, Williamson

  • J&Bs BBQ, Buford

  • Jacks Old South, Unadilla

  • Maya Jane BBQ Co., Evans

  • Mike's Mountain BBQ, Cumming

  • Qmeisters, Evans

  • Que School, Duluth

  • Que'n Stew'n & Brew'n, Acworth

  • RBH BBQ, Grayson

  • River Road Grillbillies, Kingston, Tennessee

  • Rockin Pig BBQ, Villa Rica

  • Runway Smoke, College Park

  • Smoke On This, Lenoir City, Tennessee

  • Smoke Show Mafia, Jesup

  • Smokin The Good Stuff, Mableton

  • Smokin' Sweetmeats, Buford

  • Stewbabys BBQ, Rome

  • Stoked & Smoked Competition BBQ GA, Winder

  • Swine & Shine BBQ, Sugar Hill

  • Swine Dining GA, Atlanta

  • The Fat Redneck BBQ Company, Snellville

  • The Pit Crew, Newnan

  • Tuff Dawg Grillersinesville

  • Under The Radar, Kingsport, Tennessee

  • Wanna B A Pitmaster, Monroe

  • Yes, Dear BBQ, Savannah

Amateur teams:
  • Ayers Family BBQ, Cleveland

  • Beachin' Good Barbecue, Alpharetta

  • Boz-B-Que Smokin' Crew, Cumming

  • Cool Hand Que, Dacula

  • Franksly, Decatur

  • Garden Valley Smokers, Cumming

  • Geaux 2 BBQ, Commerce

  • Gettin' Piggy With It, Greer, South Carolina

  • Loose Connections BBQinesville

  • MasterQue, Alpharetta

  • Southern Comfort BBQ, Winder

  • Sweet Pig Project, Lawrenceville

  • Swinal Tap, Alpharetta

  • TFS Pit Vipers, Tallulah Falls

  • The Chuck Davis Experience, Lula

  • Twin Bean BBQ, Milton

  • Two Nicks' BBQ, Dawsonville

  • Vegetarians Are Crazy!, Decatur

  • Wine Me, Dine Me And Swine Me, Monroe

  • Zips BBQ, Winder

Regional events