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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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Parade of Pigs, 1998 Lexington Barbecue Festival
Parade of Pigs, 1998 Lexington Barbecue Festival. Photo courtesy Lexington Dispatch

Lexington Barbecue Festival

In the city of Lexington and Davidson County, October is Barbecue Month, culminating in the Barbecue Festival held on one of the last two Saturdays in the month. At the festival, barbecue, slaw, and french fries are served under three large tents, harking back to Lexington's first barbecue restaurant, also a tent, that opened in 1919. (Today there are over 20 barbecue restaurants in the city.)

The legendary Piedmont-style barbecue is made from pork shoulders that are slow-roasted over hickory wood until they are "fall-apart tender." The meat is basted with a vinegar-based "dip" as it cooks, resulting in a rich, smoky flavor. Other festival attractions include five stages of entertainment showcasing local and national artists, a juried arts and crafts competition, more than 400 exhibitors, and a section of rides and games for children dubbed Piglet Land. Held since 1984, the festival drew more than 120,000 visitors in 1997, quadrupling the original attendance figure.

Originally submitted by: Melvin L. Watt, Representative (12th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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