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Lexington NC Barbecue Festival: One of the Best Small Town Festivals in the Nation – Lexington, NC

Published by Stanley Dengler

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The Lexington, North Carolina Barbecue Festival is a yearly event held in the city of Lexington, NC near Greensboro/Winston Salem. The barbecue festival is held on the third or fourth Saturday of October. This year was the 24th year for the small town festival featuring smoked pork on buns with coleslaw. The sandwiches are served with curly pig tail French fries.

One of the Best Festivals in the U.S.

The NC Barbecue Festival has been voted as one of the best festivals in the United States and has been featured in a number of magazines and newspapers. As the word gets around, the festival gets bigger and bigger. This year was the biggest ever if the lines at the “park and ride” lots are any indication. As they say in the South, you couldn’t stir the crowd with a stick.

More Than Barbecue

Although the barbecue takes center stage, numerous performing artists also sing and/or ham it up at the yearly event. There are always shows for the kids featuring magicians and puppet masters. Local groups play at small stages along the main street, and the center stage features some big names. This year Trisha Yearwood headlined.

Signature BBQ Sandwich

There are loads of BBQ restaurants in Lexington, NC. At the festival, they came up with a signature sandwich that reflects the Lexington style, and all barbecue tents serve the festival barbecue sandwich. It’s slow smoked pork chopped and served with a vinegar based sauce known as Lexington style barbecue sauce. It’s a thin, tart sauce with some red pepper. Heat can range from mild to hot with the festival sandwich leaning to the mild side.

The barbecue sandwiches are the highlight of the festival in terms of food, but visitors can find most any type of food typically served at a county fair. There are hot dogs, cheese steak on buns, and turkey legs. Some regional favorites are dished up including corn on the cob, fried apple pies, and fried pork skins.

Crafts and Other Great Stuff (Do Your Holiday Shopping)

Vendors come in with great southern treats like honey, cheese ball spice packs, muscadine cider, and even North Carolina wine. And, there are family barbecue sauces bottled up and sold to locals and visitors.

Folk crafts range from yard knickknacks to race cars made from aluminum cans. The Lexington Barbecue Festival is a great place to shop for the holidays. There are loads of neat things that are not available in traditional stores.

Lexington Barbecue Festival – Fun for All Ages

The focus is on family at the NC Barbecue Festival. Attendees range in age from newborn to senior citizen and everything between. There are small rides and shows for the kids. Dora the Explorer had a booth this year, and there were face painters and folks helping the little ones make sand art projects.

The official North Carolina Food Festival (state legislators backed off on calling it a barbecue festival due to the barbecue wars between east and west in the state) has about outgrown the small town of Lexington. By 11 a.m., the festival is bursting at the seams. They’ll probably need to expand to a full weekend to handle the crowds as this great festival continues to get bigger and bigger.

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