BBQ and bluegrass make sweet music in Bangalow
BARBECUE smoke hung heavy over Bangalow at the weekend during the town's annual Barbecue and Bluegrass Festival.
Two-hundred chefs sweated over barbecues of all shapes and sizes in the arena next to the Bangalow Public School and a crowd of around 1500 rolled up to feast on the beef, chicken and pork and fine bluegrass music.
Now in its fourth year, the festival is the brainchild of Bangalow's Fletcher Potanin who started the event to raise money for the arts in his children's primary school at Bangalow.
This year's festival raised money for seven local primary schools including Bangalow, Newerybar, Coorabel, Eureka, The Pocket, Byron Community School and Bangalow Community Children's Centre.
"All the schools participate in the festival and get a contribution," Mr Potanin said.
"The competitors had to produce six pieces of barbecue meats of different varieties for the judges, and the rest of their product we can then sell to raise money."
Mr Potanin said the festival was also an opportunity to support and promote local Bluegrass musicians.
"There are so many fine local musicians, I thought why not bring them together and bring the local audiences here to get to know them," he said.
Among the chefs taking part in the event were the Shanks Sistas, an all-women barbecue team from Brisbane. Like many of the chefs the Shanks Sisters slept at the showground overnight before rising at 1am on Saturday to begin their cooking process.
Their male counterparts, the Shanked Brothers, won the Firebrand BBQ Grand Championship.
The Brisbane-based team collected $1500 in prize money and won entry into the Memphis World Championship of BBQ to be held in Tennessee next year.