Great Fun for a Great Cause
By Victoria Kidd
If there is one food that has an almost cult-like following it's barbecue. When enjoyed with friends, accompanied by music, and paired with an adult beverage of choice, barbecue serves as the perfect partner to a summer's day. For barbecue's many enthusiasts, a new local three-day barbecue and music festival will certainly be of interest.
The inaugural Hogging Up BBQ Festival is being planned for June 28th through the 30th of this year. The Frederick County Fairgrounds in Clear Brook, Virginia will serve as the venue for the area's hottest new "to-do." The festival is more than just a great way to spend a weekend. It's also a way to support a great cause.
Cindy Fahnestock-Schafer and Wayne M. Schafer, owners of the widely successful Big Fat Daddy's BBQ, are the event's organizers, but they are also champions for CancerCare, the organization benefiting from the event. CancerCare is a national nonprofit organization that provides professional support services to individuals impacted by cancer.
Every year, they provide support to more than 100,000 people who are living with cancer, caring for someone with cancer, or mourning someone lost to cancer. Services offered to those individuals include professional counseling, support groups, education, financial assistance, and more.
The organization is close to the hearts of Cindy and Wayne, as their family, like many others, has been personally impacted by cancer. In 2010, Cindy's mother, Cynthia McLain, lost her fight with colorectal cancer, a cancer that two earlier generations of women in her family had already battled. CancerCare was supportive to their family during their time of grief. Two years later Cindy and Wayne would conceive of a way to give back to the organization while raising awareness of how significantly cancer impacts families.
Their vision for doing so resulted in the Hogging Up BBQ Festival. A portion of proceeds from this threeday event will be given directly to CancerCare, thereby furthering their mission to help those impacted by cancer. With their vision in place, it was time to start planning. When it came time to pick a location for the event, Frederick County was an obvious choice.
Wayne says, "I have been doing food and concessions for thirty years, but the very first fair I ever did was the Frederick County Fair. I was just nineteen years old at the time, but I have returned many times since.
I love the area. I love the town, and I love the people. I even own property there. Many places wanted this festival, including Baltimore, Maryland and other locations in Pennsylvania and New York, but this was, without a doubt, the best place we could have picked." The community will certainly benefit from the influx of business, and the attendees will be supporting a great cause while they are having a great time. Without a doubt, a great time it promises to be, particularly if you love music.
Bands lined up to play at the event include Stony Creek Bluegrass, West Virginia's classic bluegrass band, and Circa-Blue, a rocking newgrass band. Burnt Orange and Gary Smallwood from Virginia will perform alongside Dangerous Mood, a band from Winchester that is currently in production of their first CD. Avey Music and Mountain Ride from Pennsylvania will add a little flavor with a set list that includes country and bluegrass. Kirsten Sowers, a young prodigy from Philadelphia, will also be playing, and new performers are being added to the event every month.
In addition to the great music, Cindy and Wayne promise a large array of other attractions and activities. Attendees will have a chance to get up close and personal with retired Colonel Steven Blevin's Blue Angels plane. The plane's cockpit will even be open for attendees to sit in for photo that can be purchased.
Monster truck enthusiasts can also catch a ride on the largerthan- life "Virginia Giant" monster truck. A corn-hole tournament will assuredly spark your competitive nature, while vendors offer you a wide variety of goods for sale. On Sunday, a motorcycle show will give visitors a chance to enjoy a different type of hog. Attendees will even have a chance to meet acclaimed local author, Roger Engle who will be signing copies of his book.
For younger visitors, a kid's zone promises to entertain. Cindy and Wayne have worked extremely hard to make certain this inaugural year is an incredible foundation to what will hopefully become an annual event.
"We want to wow them," Wayne says when asked what a prospective attendee can expect. "We are putting in a lot of effort to make it great because we want people to enjoy themselves, and we want to raise money for CancerCare. When attendees leave the event, we want them to say, ‘I'm coming back next year.'"
Cindy and Wayne have truly tried to make sure every attendee is entertained, but surely a large portion of those who make the festival part of their weekend will be doing so for the food. If food and fun aren't enough, the event is also a Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) sanctioned competition. Barbecue teams from across the country will be competing for recognition of their food, as well as for $5,300 in cash prizes. Attendees will also have a chance to see 3EyzBBQ, the celebrity pit-masters who appeared on season two of TLC's Pit-masters television show. Judges will determine who has prepared the best barbecue, but the public will also have the chance to enjoy some great food.
For the public, barbecue vendors will be offering delectable chicken, pork, ribs, and beef that has been flavored to perfection. Wayne himself will be offering some of his awardwinning barbecue, the likes of which have been featured in Rachel Ray's Everyday Grilling, Saveur Magazine, and two of Steven Raichlen's wellrespected cookbooks. Wayne has been interviewed by newspapers, radio hosts, and television stations all up and down the Eastern Seaboard, and he is no stranger to Winchester.
Wayne and his fellow barbecue vendors will be offering a chance to enjoy everything from Texas-style barbecue and jumbo turkey legs to country rib platters and Memphisstyle barbecue. Festival favorites like deep-friend Oreos and funnel cakes will be standing by for a sweet end to a delightful meal. Adults can also enjoy libations courtesy of the Winchester Exchange Club.
Wayne and Cindy hope that all of these elements mean more money for CancerCare. "We have set this up as a not-for-profit event because we really do want to donate as much money as we possibly can to this great organization. We want everyone to come out and have a great time, and we want to raise money while doing so. The public should know that this is not an average barbecue competition, this is a large, three-day festival offering plenty to do, see, and enjoy." Attendees are encouraged to donate to the Hogging Up team's fundraising efforts by using the clickthrough CancerCare link on the front page of the Hogging Up website, but opportunities to support the organization will be available at the festival itself.
For the price of just $5 on Friday and Sunday or $8 on Saturday, locals can enjoy great food and great music while helping to support a terrific cause. For the latest news regarding the festival, like them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/HoggingUpBBQFestival. Be sure to mark your calendars to join them on June 28th through the 30th, and check out their website at http://hoggingup.com. We'll see you there!