New attractions, upbeat music venues and perfect weather merged for a successful Pig Pickin’ Festival. The event boasted a record breaking 70 barbecue cookers who competed for the coveted top chef trophy. The chefs, some traveling from Georgia and North Carolina, spent all night Friday basting the porkers with their top-secret recipes. Before the winners were announced South Carolina Barbeque Association assistant Marshall Morrey Thomas said the Kingstree Pig Pickin’ is literally fought over by their certified judges who find the event one of the best places in the state to judge.
Pee Dee Helicopters grabbed the attention of festival-goers as their Robinson R-44 made a grandiose landing in the middle of the recreation center’s ball field. For two days the mechanical bird lifted spectators into the air for a bird’s eye view of the county.
The Pig Pickin’ golf tournament on Thursday at the Swamp Fox Golf Course kicked off the festivities. A record breaking 38 teams played in the split tee time tourney. The game proved to be an exciting one as first place had a six-way tie. Using players’ scorecards, Director Danny McFaddin counted backwards from the eighteenth hole. Four teams were eliminated by the 10th hole but the remaining two teams’ score would follow the entire course to the first hole where a birdie by Mack Duke decided the outcome. Each Pee Dee Foot Center sponsored team member took home a TaylorMade Rossa putter and a trophy.
Second place went to Team Firestone Building Products. Callaway Irons were given for Closest to the Hole and a Glider Swing donated by T.J. Marshall was given for another Closest to Hole winner. A portion of the tournament’s proceeds will benefit Kingstree Little League and the Kingstree Police Department’s K-9 Unit.
The Kingstree/Bi-Lo sponsored event was pulled off without a hitch, complements of the town’s hard working employees, the Kingstree Police Department, Williams-burg County Sheriff’s Office deputies, SC Department of Natural Resources, SC Highway Patrol and dozens of volunteers. Kingstree Police Chief Robert Ford was proud to say police officers dealt with only a few minor offenses and the crowd, who he believed was the largest in its history, enjoyed the two-day event. Along with parking that was rearranged to funnel exiting vehicles from Nelson Blvd., eliminating confusion of two-lane traffic and plenty of sunshine, this year’s Pig Pickin’ couldn’t have been better.