Lots to Do Today (Saturday September 28th) at PorktoberQue

Where to begin? It’s all going down today at the Houston County Farm Center from 10am-9pm. Admission is just $2 at the gate (kids 6 and under are free). Below are some of today’s highlights, but explore our web site to learn more about the entertainment and activities you will experience at PorktoberQue!

Saturday September 28th features….

  • Cornhole Competition at 2pm outside the man Cave
  • People’s Choice tasting from 11-1 in the Man Cave
  • SEC Football games on TV in the Man Cave all day
  • Classic and Antique Car Show on the midway from 10-2
  • RV, Tractor, Boat and vehicle show from 10-9 in the middle of the festival
  • Kids play for free on the Inflatables 10 am -8:30 pm
  • Free Putt Putt for kids and families in the middle of the festival area
  • Shopping with vendors both outside on the festival grounds and inside the Biergarten in the air-conditioning
  • Reptile Discovery Program- entertaining and informative shows at 12, 2 and 5. Bring a camera!

Entertainment on Two Stages

The Polka Dots (polka music) in the BierGarten  Saturday from 10-12


The Reptile Discovery Program is at 12, 2 and 5 on the inside stage in the Biergarten (all ages welcome in the beirgarten— 21 and older to drink. Valid ID required.) img002a

Hannah DeMello– acoustic and contemporary music inside the Biergarten from 1-2 on Saturday September 28th375058_515456958491310_1031268563_n

The Good For Nothin’ Band– Classic Country Music, Western Swing, Old Time Rock and Roll and Polka — Playing Saturday from 3-5 and again from 6-8 inside the air conditioned BierGarten buildingTGFNB_Promo Pic

Melissa Trampler, Fire Poi artist after dark


Karen Searcy, Contemporary, Christian and vocal favorites. Saturday from 11-12

Christopher Robinson (Flip)– contemporary and pop.  Scheduled from 12:30- 1:30 on Saturday September 28th on the outside stage.


Los Locos- Outside Stage Saturday night from 6-9

 Big Jimmy– comedy redneck rap and “Hick Hop”- Outside stage Saturday September 28th from 4:30-5:30

big jimmyThrice Pierced, a Christian Contemporary Rock Band from Birmingham, AL. Scheduled for 2-4PM on the outside stage Saturday September 28th.

What’s on Tap for Tonight (9/27) at PorktoberQue?

Lots of great fun and activities at PorktoberQue tonight. Friday night the gates are open from 5pm-9pm and you can buy your ticket at the gate (it’s just $2 per person). Here’s what to expect (these are just the highlights— there’s too much to list, but explore the web site for more details!)

  • Air-Conditioned Biergarten open from 5-9. Features Sam Adams Oktoberfest Draft Beer (with optional souvenir beer steins for sale while they last), and polka music 6-7pm and 8-9pm. The Biergarten also has food and shopping and is open to ALL AGES. 21 and over to drink.
  • 7:00 pm in the Biergarten is the Reptile Discovery Program— bring a camera!
  •  6-8pm- Folklore Brewery beer sampling near the west end of the Man Cave
  •  7PM- Blazin’ Challenge- hot wing eating contest Dothan Police versus Dothan Fire departments- at or near Man Cave
  • Cornhole tournament practice 7pm on the asphalt outside the Man Cave
  • Boat, tractor and RV show opens at 5pm and runs through Saturday
  • Test drive or look at the new vehicles available from MIke Schmitz Automotive Group
  • Kids play for free on the Inflatables 5-8:30pm
  • Two concerts on the outside stage! Kristan Mikala at 5:15 and Random-Ax at 6:30
  • Melissa T twirls the fire poi after dark just past the Man Cave area
  • Free Putt Putt for kids and families in the middle of the festival area
  • Shopping with vendors both outside on the festival grounds and inside the Biergarten in the air-conditioning

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Why Should I Support PorktoberQue?

You, know… besides going and having fun at a ridiculously low price enjoying music, beer, BBQ, and family fun. Why should you support PorktoberQue?

PorktoberQue is a local, Dothan event that supports the local economy. For example, most all of the vendors are local folks, and when you buy food and drinks from them, the money you spend stays here in the Wiregrass and boosts the economy.  The promoter is local, and all the money made stays in the area and supports other events. The sound guy and  bands are local (with one from the panhandle of Florida, so they’re local in essence) and when they get paid that money stays local to pay their bills. By spending money with our local people, it helps them to purchase local goods and services and boosts our local economy.  The money’s not heading to Nashville or Atlanta or to the beach— it stays here in Dothan and helps our grocers, merchants and families in town.

Also…. PorktoberQue has given away 20 spots to non-profits to help them raise funds and awareness. This generosity helps some organizations who might not otherwise be able to afford a booth space.  Plus, we are splitting the gate proceeds between the Regional Land Water Rescue group and the Farm Center. The Regional Land Water Rescue is a volunteer group that searches for missing and lost persons, and will use the funds to purchase fuel for the boats and ATV’s used in search and rescue missions, as well as supplies for such operations.

PorktoberQue is a family run, locally owned event that promotes our local economy and provides affordable family entertainment in Dothan. Your support not only allows us to continue to provide inexpensive fun in the community but helps support non-profits. Please come out to PorktoberQue and show your support for LOCAL FAMILY-ORIENTED FESTIVALS! IMG_2736 cornhole IMG_2732 img_3460_0090new 967220_590769420955270_1064706679_o

Ever Hear of “Two Buck Chuck”?

Back in the early 2000’s a California wine company produced an “extreme value” wine under the Charles Shaw brand. The wines sold at Trader Joe’s for $1.99— which earned them the nickname of “Two Buck Chuck”. The wine even won a gold medal for it’s taste despite the price tag, meaning that you don’t always have to pay more to enjoy something!

Fast forward to PorktoberQue this coming Friday and Saturday (the 27th and 28th). Admission is just $2 per person per day (free if you wear lederhosen/ a German outfit or if you are a child 6 years old or younger) but there’s great entertainment, free activities for kids and families and lots to do despite the small price tag. Parking is even free, so you’re not being nickled and dimed to death. You will pay for food and drinks and some activities like pony rides for the kids, but there’s a lot to do on your $2 admission. Check out the great entertainment and activities and you’ll be amazed at all there is to do at PorktoberQue 2013!

We’re kind of like Two Buck Chuck…. a lot of bang for your (two) bucks! 

Ticket Info, Q&A

The most common question we are getting by phone and email is, “Can we get tickets at the door on Friday or Saturday?” The answer is ABSOLUTELY, YES! Admission is just $2 per person each day and you just pay at the door. Here are the answers to some other common questions we’ve been getting:

Q  Does my kid need a ticket?
A. Children 6 and Under are Free. All others, it’s $2

Q. Is food Included i n my $2 ticket?
A. Seriously? You expect a dinner on that $2 admission? NO. Food is not included.

Q.  How can I sample all the teams’ BBQ at the event?
A. Show up at 11:00 AM for the People’s Choice tasting. It’s at the east end of the Man Cave and it’s $10 for a tasting pass. That gets you into the tent and allows you to eat as many samples as you like (but you can’t take the samples outside the tent or share them). It’s a fundraiser for the Northview High School Cross Country Team, too.

Q. Do I have to be 21 to enter the Biergarten?
A. No. The Biergarten is all-ages and family friendly, featuring the Reptile Discovery Program and other great entertainment as well as shopping. You DO need to have a valid ID and be 21 or over to drink alcohol at the event.

Q. Is it too late to register to play in the CornHole tournament? 
A. No, it’s not. It’s too late to register in advance unless you come in to the office in person though. You can register on site Friday or Saturday before 1pm, but the price jumps up slightly from $20 to $25 onsite. But it’s a fundraiser for the Dothan High School Cross Country Program, so don’t feel too bad.

Q. I want to get my tickets in advance/ I want to register my cornhole team/ I need to sign up for a vendor spot. Where’s your office?
A. 257 South Saint Andrews St., Dothan. But call first, as we are at the Farm Center setting up right about now. (334) 699-1475. But we can come back and meet you if we know when you’ll be here.

Q. Does it cost to park the car?
A. No, not at PorktoberQue it doesn’t.

If you have a question we didn’t answer, either leave a comment below and we’ll reply or email QueenOfQue@gmail.com and we’ll get you an answer!

PorktoberQue is THIS WEEK!

We’ve made it to PorktoberQue week! It’s almost here! PorktoberQue is both Friday September 27th from 5-9pm and again Saturday September 28th from 10am-9pm. There’s an awful lot going on both days, but here’s the highlights:

  • Friday night 6 and 8pm- The Polka Dots (polka music) inside Biergarten
  • Friday Night 7pm – Reptile Discovery program, inside Biergarten (it’s family friendly and all ages welcome in the Biergarten!)
  • Friday night 6-8pm- Folklore Brewery beer sampling
  • Friday night 7PM- Blazin’ Challenge- hot wing eating contest
  • Friday night- cornhole tournament practice 7pm

Saturday Activities-

  • People’s Choice BBQ Sampling 11:00 AM until approximately 1pm or when food runs out
  • Car Show- 10-2
  • SEC football in the Man Cave all day
  • Cornhole Tournament 2pm
  • BBQ competition awards 5pm
  • Polka Dancing in the BIergarten at 10 AM
  • Reptile Discovery Program in Biergarten at 12, 2 and 5pm

Both days there are free inflatables and free putt putt for the kids, as well as live music on two stages (http://porktoberque.com/entertainment/ for times and performances)  and lots of shopping inside and outside with vendors!

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Is Dothan the BBQ Capital of the South?

To the untrained palate, barbecue is barbecue. It simply exists in one form or another on the menus of restaurants and occasionally at a backyard gathering. But to a growing number of barbecue aficionados who seek perfection in their smoked meats, Dothan has become somewhat of a “hog holy land” and a mecca of barbecue.

It’s no secret that barbecue is big business in the South. Take a look at all the restaurants offering smoked pork, chicken and brisket and you’ll soon realize that there’s money in barbecue. But, for several hundred men (and a few women) who are in the profession of “pitmaster”, a restaurant isn’t needed to make a living. The real fame and fortune of barbecue has lately become the world of professional competition barbecue and reality television.

Professional competitions sprung up in the 1980’s first with the American Royal in Kansas City, Missouri which is known as the World Series of Barbecue. As more and more teams became interested in the sport, a sanctioning body was needed to regulate the contests and make sure the same rules were enforced uniformly. The Kansas City Barbecue Society was born in 1985 and has grown to be the largest member-based governing body of competition barbecue. Other sanctioning bodies include the Florida Bar-B-Que Association, the Memphis Barbecue Network, the International Barbecue Cookers Association, and the Pacific Northwest Barbecue Association.

Dothan is one of only a few cities nationwide whose barbecue claim to fame is that they host two different professional barbecue competitions annually, sanctioned by two different governing bodies. The Tri-State BBQ Festival, the 2nd weekend in April, has been a Florida Bar-B-Que sanctioned event since its inception in 2006. PorktoberQue, the last weekend in September, brought the Kansas City Barbecue Society to the Wiregrass. Both events are nationally recognized as top-notch competitions, and both were named to the State of Alabama Tourism Board’s “Top 50 Food Festivals” list for 2013. Dothan even garnered national attention when the hit TV show BBQ Pitmasters filmed a 2012 episode at the Tri-State, naming it one of the best competitions in Alabama.

Competitors from across the country travel hundreds of miles to reach our barbecue mecca, hoping to win thousands of dollars in prize money. Previous teams have come from as far away as New Mexico, Minnesota and Michigan, but the majority of teams come from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee. Most of the teams coming from outside the Wiregrass enjoy the charming Southern hospitality of Dothan while relishing the well-organized competition and fellowship of the sport.

Barbecue competitions, regardless of the sanctioning body, follow some similarities with the kinds of meat cooked and how it is presented to the judges. (The exception to this rule is the Memphis in May competition in which judges come to the cook site to score the whole hog cooking. Apparently it’s too difficult to carry a cooked whole hog into the judges area.) For the most part, teams cook a variety of meats and turn them in to a judging area at specified times. Teams are provided uniform looking “turn-in boxes” which typically have an assigned number that corresponds to the team name.  The team name is kept off the turn-in box in an effort to not sway judges opinions if the team is well known in the barbecue community, and this type of judging is referred to as “blind judging”.

Both of the barbecue competitions in Dothan cook the same four meats for the judges to score— chicken, pork ribs, pork shoulder (Boston Butt) and beef brisket. It is widely accepted that these four meats represent the most commonly barbecued items, and it requires a fair amount of skill to master cooking each of these different foods. In other parts of the country, regional favorites may be cooked, such as mutton in Kentucky, and even salmon or fish in the Pacific Northwest.

Different sanctioning bodies have different rules, which competitors need to keep straight in their head at a competition. For example, Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) rules dictate that garnish is allowed — and actually preferred— in a team’s turn in box, while Florida Bar-B-Que rules state that nothing but meat (no garnish) is allowed in the turn in box. If a team were to forget and insert garnish into a FBA sanctioned event, it would mean instant disqualification.

With over $10,000 in prize money on the line each year at the Tri-State BBQ Festival and $5,000 in prize money at PorktoberQue, professional competition teams can take cooking quite seriously. Some noted teams that have competed in Dothan who have done well have been featured on television and make a full-time living as professional pitmasters. Some of these noted teams who have competed in town are Myron Mixon of Jack’s Old South, Bubba Latimer with Bub-Ba-Que, LeAnn Whippen of Wood Chicks Barbecue and Michael Mixon (Myron’s son who is always trying to beat his dad) with Jack’s New South.

Competition barbecue tastes different than restaurant barbecue. A lot different. So much so in fact that most people who have tasted professional barbecue won’t eat at barbecue restaurant chains any more. Part of the reason is that competitors will take extra care to trim, brine and season the meat before it is cooked. (Brine is a salty solution that some meats are soaked in to add moisture and flavor to the meat prior to the long smoking process.) The preparation of the meat can take hours, with careful attention paid to every detail. During the cooking process, which can take from four to fourteen hours, many cooks will “mop” the meat with a vinegar sauce to promote a moister finished product. This is the kind of attention to detail that many restaurants don’t have the time or manpower to perform, but a dedicated competition cook will insist upon.

Dothan is lucky to be able to bring some of the best competitive cooks in from around the country for two barbecue festivals each year. Though a local team has never been crowned Grand Champion at any of the combined nine sanctioned events in town there’s always hope that an up-and-coming local team might reign supreme. Both the KCBS and FBA actively promote cooking classes, judges classes and events in the area in an effort to create more momentum for the barbecue movement, which appears to be here to stay.

What to Expect at PorktoberQue

Besides laughter, good memories and family fun, what should you expect and plan for at PorktoberQue? Here’s a TOP 10 list of things to remember to make your visit enjoyable:

  1.  No coolers are allowed in the gates. Sorry. We have plenty of food, beer, water and other items for sale, though!
  2. Bring a camera! For the Reptile Discovery Program, for the Car Show, for the “stick your head through a hole and be the PorktoberQue pig” cut out…. there’s lots of photo ops!
  3. Bring sunscreen for the kids (and yourself!) on Saturday. Lots of outside activities including the free inflatables, free putt putt, free car show, and loads of shopping— about 80% of the festival is in the sun. If you get hot, we have air-conditioning in the Biergarten.
  4. Yes, there’s beer for sale, but it’s still family friendly. It’s not a drunk fest, but rather a fun event for people of all ages and no one who is intoxicated will be served.
  5. Even if you’re 75 years old, you need a valid ID to purchase beer. It’s Alabama state law and we follow those laws and rules. Everyone purchasing a beer needs to get their ID verified and get an armband.
  6. Bring some money to purchase BBQ and great food both days! There’s also a People’s Choice tasting tent that’s an additional $10 on Saturday. Proceeds benefit NHS cross country program.
  7. There are a few activities for kids that cost extra, like the NASCAR simulator, the pony rides, the mini-helicopter rides and things of that nature. The cornhole tournament is also extra, $20, and you need to register in advance to get your team a spot.
  8. There’s no extra cost to go into the Man Cave and watch the football games or enjoy the fun!
  9. Admission is just $2 per person per day, kids 6 and under are free both days. Wear Lederhosen and get in free!
  10. There is shopping with a wide variety of vendors both INSIDE the air-conditioned building and also outside. Make sure you check both out!

PorktoberQue is September 27th from 5-9pm and also September 28th from 10-9. List of bands playing on two stages both days is above under the Entertainment tab. See you there!

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Get a FREE Ticket NOW!

For a very limited time, we are giving away one free ticket per email address. You can even print your ticket from your computer printer and you don’t have to purchase anything to get a ticket! Just go to this website ( http://www.thebigddeal.com ) sponsored by the Dothan Eagle and click through their offer. The offer ends in 10 days or when their supplies are exhausted, so hurry and print off your FREE ticket! IMG_2777

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Oktoberfest in September?

Though we get calls nearly every day with people asking if we’re not jumping the gun by having Oktoberfest in September, truth is that we’re actually having it at the traditional, correct time of year.

In Germany, Oktoberfest traditionally starts in the third weekend in September and ends the first sunday of October. If an Oktoberfest is held for less than two weeks, it may occur at any time from the 3rd weekend of September through the first weekend of October. So, PorktoberQue is right in the middle of that time frame with having it the last weekend of September!

Here’s some “Oktoberfackts”

  • In 1997, Oktoberfesters consumed more than 5 ½ million liters of beer, about 45,000 liters of wine, and almost 165,000 liters of nonalcoholic beer in Germany. (Wow…. that’s a bunch of beverages!)
  • The local name in Munich for Oktoberfest, “Wies’n,” is derived from Theresienwiese, the name of the field on which the festival is held.
  • The festival halls in Munich can seat 94,000 people. ( I think we can seat 400 at PorktoberQue…)
  • The beers that the Munich breweries produce specially for Oktoberfest contain 4.5 percent alcohol. (Sam Adams Oktoberfest, our host beverage is 5%)
  • Cincinnati, Ohio, which claims to hold the “largest authentic Oktoberfest” in the U.S., draws about 500,000 people to its celebration. (PorktoberQue should draw about 5,000 people).