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Cook-off intersects with Shriners parade


Kim Grizzard

Friday, May 19, 2017

There is something besides sweet, smoky smells that is expected to draw crowds to Ayden for this weekend’s Kings of Q BBQ Cook-off and Festival: the sights and sounds of the Sudan Shriners Parade.

The parade, last held in Ayden about a decade ago, is not an official part of the barbecue festival slate of activities. The two events just happened to intersect.

“Nobody really thought about it (the parade) when we established the weekend,” Ayden Planning Director Stephen E. Smith said. “It should be a good time, but we’ll have a lot more people in town than we expected, which is a good thing because the whole intent was to bring people to downtown Ayden.”

In the weeks leading up to the festival, Smith, who serves as event organizer, has been working with Sudan Shriners to make sure the parade and the contest complement each other, rather than collide.

“The parade was originally scheduled to start at 11 a.m., but Shriners backed it up until 10:45 a.m. because of some of the festival concerns to keep from disrupting turn-in times for the contests,” he said. “(The parade) will be coming up Third Street; those cook teams have to cross Third Street (to deliver their entries to judges). They’ll be going down Second Street; cook teams have to cross Second Street.”

Smith said Shriners even agreed to put the parade on pause for a few seconds to let the teams cross if needed. Teams cannot afford to be late. They are assigned times to deliver meats to the judges. Failure to submit an entry within 10 minutes of when it is due means the entry is disqualified from competition.

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