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2012 Tour Stop #7 - Lincolnton Hog Happenin'

June 2, 2012

With events being so close together this season, Christine and I have extra time for laundry, paperwork and sleep. We also seem to have more time to explore some of the places we normally would just drive by. After Evans, Ga., we spent a couple of days in Gastonia, N.C. before loading into Lincolnton for the Hog Happenin event. We were close to the U.S. National Whitewater Olympic Center so we dropped off the trailer for a day's adventure and had a blast!  The center included a man-made whitewater area, multiple zip lines and tree-mounted obstacle courses. It was nice to enjoy a day off and try zip-lining for the first time!

As Hog Happenin was held right on the city streets of Lincolnton, we could not load the trailer in early like most places. Our load-in time was 10 p.m., after a concert downtown ended and the crowd went home. Other than the dark side-streets and the GPS wanting us to go a different route, it really was one of the easier load-ins that we have had yet.

Since this event was part motorcycle rally, the bikers showed up in full force. I think one of the bike games was "dodge the pedestrian" as bikers were riding right down the street all day and night. I didn't see anybody get hit, but there were a couple of close calls. It really made for an interesting afternoon; passing out samples and watching the bikers ride by.

Across from us was a couple of first-time teams cooking in the backyard division, which is always fun. One little girl came over for samples and even brought her pet pig Clementine to the barbecue on Friday night. I kept telling her that "Bacon" would be a better name, but she just scrunched up her nose and giggled…

I always joke that Christine has a "switch" that attracts people and she should just turn it off sometimes. After she was hit-on the second time over the weekend, I told her that the "off" switch must not be working. Our helpers, all local high schoolers, got such a kick out of working with us. We even had a nice note given to us from an older lady complimenting our helpers on their hard work and professionalism!

Since this was a Reser's® stop in addition to the Kingsford $40K Challenge event, Christine and I got to make our presentations at the awards ceremony. At the contest, Tommy and Hunter Houston with Checkered Pig got the first big call for chicken, Bayou Poker Smokers won the rib category, Up In Smoke got called for pork and Byron with Buttrub.com got the brisket call. At the end of awards, Sauced! BBQ took home Reserve Grand Champion and Checkered Pig made the final walk to the front to pick up their Grand Champion.

After awards were completed, since everyone was loaded on the city street, the area was bustling with activity to load out. We were the last to leave while the city crews were cleaning the streets to make the area look normal again for the Monday morning downtown visitors!

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