73.9 F
Winter Haven
Sunday, June 23, 2024

Latest Posts

Annual Big Belly BBQ Battle Being Hosted This Friday & Saturday

Annual Big Belly BBQ Battle Being Hosted This Friday & Saturday

by James Coulter

Don’t let these uncertain times hinder your cravings for barbecue. Come on down to Downtown Davenport for a weekend of good food, great music, and even greater company during the annual Big Belly BBQ Battle.

The festivities kick off on Friday and continue on through Saturday. The Jason Green Band and Blake Free Band will be revving up their amps to play live music, while teams from across the state and county will be arriving to prepare their barbecue and compete in a Florida Barbecue Association-sanctioned contest.

This year’s event will be raising money for Nature’s Place, a local therapy center that offers rehabilitation services with the help of animals. Nature’s Place is currently seeking an expansion of their facilities and services.

“We are hoping to raise as much money as we can for Nature’s Place because they are seeking new things in their facilities, and we want to be able to help with that because they do a lot,” said Samantha Summerlin Tomlinson, past president of the Davenport Merchants.

Samantha helped start Big Belly BBQ Battle nearly 12 years ago. She fondly remembers when Labor Day weekend was a big deal in the community. Everyone in town came out to enjoy everything from barbecue dinners to ugly dog contests and horse races, which were hosted along North Avenue by her father, a local feed store owner.

However, as the years went by, the festivities dwindled, and Labor Day weekend no longer became an important event. Samantha wanted to reinvigorate interest, which is why she and her team at Davenport Merchants started Big Belly BBQ 12 years ago. The barbecue competition was started during a time when barbecue was becoming popular and before such competitions were sanctioned by the Florida Barbecue Association.

Samantha herself started competing with her then boyfriend with their team. He has since become her husband of two years, and they run their current team Cooters n’ Smoke. Because of their participation, she has turned over her presidential duties to Bonnie JoSonger.

“The most we are looking forward to is the community coming together like we always do,” Samantha said. “This is a great event for a great cause, and we are hoping that the community will come out and show their community spirit and eat good barbecue and fellowship because it has been really hard the last year, we have not been able to do that very much, so we are hoping to do that.

Davenport’s Big Belly BBQ Battle will be hosted on Fri., Sep. 3 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Sat., Sep. 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will be hosted along Main Street in Downtown Davenport. For more information, visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/DavenportsBigBellyBBQBattle

author avatar
Staff Reporter

Latest Posts

- Advertisement -

Don't Miss

- Advertisement -