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2012 Sooie't Relief BBQ adding Wing Fling to two-day event

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It hasn’t even been a month and the planning for next year’s Sooie’t Relief BBQ and Wings benefit is full speed ahead.  That’s right wings.
Caroline Robertson, Executive Director of Greer Relief, said next year’s barbecue festival will be two days, Aug. 24-25, with the reincarnation of the Wing Fling. “We’re back for bigger and better,” Robertson said. “We want people on the street for the opening element on Friday.”
“We will have a people’s choice competition for wings on Friday and the barbecue competition on Saturday,” Robertson said. “Some people said they didn’t get to see the cookers prepare their barbecue. They will prepare the wings on Friday for people to sample and judge and begin barbecuing for Saturday’s competition afterward. People will have more opportunities to watch the cookers.”
That will come one year after the successful Sooie’t Relief BBQ Benefit, which had downtown Greer merchants and visitors licking their fingers and smelling barbecue flavors sandwiched around cookers from Cleveland, Ohio, Tennessee, Florida and every state bordering the Carolinas.  
The barbecue chat rooms, judges’ comments, cookers and vendors gave Robertson, Adele Langford and their committee A+ ratings.  All vendors have already committed to the 2012 BBQ festival, the musicians have asked to return, the judges have guaranteed there will be too many volunteering so some won’t make the cut, and Robertson said the committee and volunteers are on board.
“We had a good, hard working committee,” Robertson said. “Keith Smith took complete ownership of the cookers’ venue, Lynne Grout was terrific getting the judging site prepared and Rebecca Savage’s designed trophies was over the top.” Savage, a Greer artist, welded train boxcars to trophies for the top finishers. “We’re now known for our awards so we will have to continue that,” Robertson said. And then laughed when she said, “I’ll leave that up to Rebecca.”
Robertson has put finding a title sponsor at the top of its to-do list. That may be easier now that Sooie’t has created its own identity and shows up first on all Google searches. “This is a timed event,” Robertson said. “We have deadlines that we will keep next year.”

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