Football, Trucks, TV, Seating in Man Cave

Torn between spending the afternoon with your family at PorktoberQue and watching college football on TV? We’ve got the perfect solution! The Tri-State Truck Man Cave will be set up on the grassy area near the hog barn at the Farm Center. This large tent will feature several TVs showing football and tables and chairs so you can grab something to eat and drink, then sit and enjoy your favorite football game. Seating is limited but you can also bring a chair if you like.

There are lots of activities near the Man Cave as well, including the Continental Championship Wrestling Ring featuring local wrestling bouts throughout the weekend. Though there won’t be any big heavy hitters and it’s only a wrestling demo (no title matches) it will be entertaining and fun for all to see. Also near the Tri-State Truck Man Cave will be cooking demonstrations on the Wiley Wok (something you really need to see!), the Northview Cross Country Team People’s Choice Tasting Tent, the Corn Hole tournament and even the free KMX games area. The Man Cave is also just up the hill from the Saturday Classic Car Show.

DISH Network is powering the TV’s with their amazing satellites and we should be able to get the following games at PorktoberQue:

Alabama VS. University of Louisiana Monroe

Auburn versus Mississippi State

Plus, of course, there will be other other SEC and national games of interest. Also in the Tri-State Truck Man Cave will be some shopping opportunities for “manly” interests, including truck accessories, Yeti coolers, Komono Joe grills and smokers, and an assortment of other interesting items. Make sure you thank the folks at the Tri-State Truck Man Cave for sponsoring this part of PorktoberQue, because it’s one of the favorite areas of the event.


Southern Chain Gang to perform Saturday October 6

While we still are working on our full Saturday lineup (and hope to be bringing in a couple of bands from Orlando to round out a youthful sound) we are pleased to announce that Southern Chain Gang will come on up to rock from the panhandle of Florida and will headline Saturday night at 7:30 pm at the Five Star Festhaus Stage.

SouthernChain Gang was formed back in 2009 by four guys who loved to entertain crowds of people. They strive to make each preformance better than the one before, playing a wide variety of music that is sure to please both country and rock fans alike.   Their originals will get you up out of your seats and create a party atmosphere that is widely enjoyed. The band members include: Dan Powell / Guitarist and Vocalist, Brandon Shields / Bassist and Vocalist, Travis Powell / Lead Guitarist and Vocalist, and William Steverson / Drums and Vocalist. For booking call Dan Powell @ (334) 360-1314 or contact SomerTyme Productions and talk to Bobby Somers @ (334) 791-3751.


Meet one of our vendors… the Nanny Nest

The Nanny Nest is an up and coming service company here in the Wiregrass area and their goal is to provide co-parenting services to the community through in-home nanny and child care services. You can visit their booth at PorktoberQue, where they will be partnered with It’s My Party Boutique and will be giving away goodies for the kids, and providing information on their services.

Nanny Nest owner, Tamara Davis, explains her company in these words, “We are excited to introduce this concept of child care, to many people that may have thought this was not an option for them. In addition to providing quality, loving, in-home child care, we strive to keep it simple. Not only do we research and qualify our nanny staff, but we offer to work with the family to manage all the details associated with employing their in-home care provider.  Visit where you  will find that we offer many types of child care services from full time, part time and occasional sitters as well as referral services.

Can PorktoberQue be all things for all people?

“You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”- Abraham Lincoln

So, really we can’t be all things to all people, because Abe sold us so. But we can try to be as many things to as many people as possible. Let me explain why… and how….

The Main Event, where I work, puts on several festivals a year. Some we do for non-profits, some are themed (Christmas festival, Fourth of July), some charge admission and some are free. Some have paid bands, some utilize donated talent. Some are family oriented, others are adult geared, and most have an agenda— they are organized for a specific cause.

PorktoberQue is unique in a couple of ways. It’s a true community festival— open to anyone who wants to set up and promote a cause, open to any entertainer who wants to perform, and open — for free— to all to attend. We wanted PorktoberQue to be many things to as many people as possible. We have High School groups participating to save the environment. We have families participating to raise money to support Ethopian adoption. There are other non-profits and organizations touting their causes that we’ll talk about in the coming weeks.

PorktoberQue is also musically unique. Instead of other local festivals that strictly promote one type of music (ie: country music festivals) we aim to be a little something for many more people. We’ll have polka music, childrens’ music, rock, country, sk8tr music and contemporary pop. Probably something for most everyone…. though I’m sure there are a few styles of music not represented.

We’ve also got activities during the day for the kids, and stuff at night for the adults. But families are welcome anytime, and even the Biergartens (beer tents) are family friendly (of course, 21 and over to drink.)

Abe Lincoln says we cant be all things to all people. But we can sure try to be lots of things to as many people as possible. If you have any ideas how we can be more inclusive, diverse and incorporate more aspects of our community, please drop us a line and let us know. We’re excited to be uniquely a community festival with no admission costs for people to come out and have a great time with family and friends.


How Getting Your Face Painted can Save a Life

PorktoberQue is all about fun and games. We’ve got some great entertainment lined up, and terrific activities and food and drink for sale. But, once in a while there’s an underlying story to something, and we thought we’d let you know about one of the booths at PorktoberQue that’s really special.

Josh and Kimberly Graham will have a booth called ” ” (also the name of their web site) at PorktoberQue where they will be painting faces and will have hand painted items for sale. They will also be providing entertainment throughout the day for the festival. What makes their story remarkable is why they are participating.

Kimberly tells their story best. Here it is in her own words, “Three years ago I went on a mission trip with my church and ICA (International Crisis Aid) to Ethiopia. It was amazing and God changed my heart about something while over there. He also placed a love for those people that is hard to explain.
When I came home I told my husband that I felt that God wanted us to adopt a child from there. He said, Ok but kind of brushed it off as me being emotional. The feeling continued to grow and so I started looking for an adoption agency. When he saw that I was serious we started praying and God lead us to American World Adoption.
Last year I went back to Ethiopia on another mission trip and it made my heart ache for the children even more. We are currently still in the paper chase stage and hope to be able to send are dossier soon, but the expense to just send it is a lot of money and we have done several fund raisers, but none have really done that well. We know that God will supply all that we need in His timing and sometimes that’s not fast enough for us. We are trusting Him and He will see us through.”

They are selflessly going to help a child half a world away by giving them a chance at a stable, loving family and the freedoms we enjoy here in America. All of the money they raise at PorktoberQue will help get an orphaned Ethiopian child a shot at a better life here in America. Please be generous as your heart sees fit and visit their booth during PorktoberQue.

A child’s life depends on it.

What’s an Oktoberfest without POLKA music?


German polka band music is kind of an acquired taste for many. But any Oktoberfest celebration wouldn’t be complete without the “oomp -pah- pah ” sounds of the accordion-led band.

Though some (who don’t live here) might find it hard to believe, Dothan doesn’t have a polka band. Heck, we couldn’t find one for 90 miles in any direction! And the super awesome famous bands are booked during Oktoberfest season (mid September through Halloween) and cost an arm and a leg. So what to do?

Fortunately, Dothan (called The DOT by some of the young hipsters) has an abundance of skilled musicians. I found a talented accordion player who was willing to take on the challenges of leading a band for the purpose of polka music, and they already have a drummer willing to make it happen. Just looking for a tuba or bass player and a clarinet to round out the mix and we’ll have Dothan’s first polka band. They will play several short sets during PorktoberQue to entertain the crowd, and get everyone in the mood for OktoberFest.

And the name of this band? Since it’s comprised of people from the DOT, it’s an obvious choice as to what they should be called. THE POLKA DOTS.
Admission to PorktoberQue on Friday from 5-9pm and Saturday from 10-9 is FREE to the general public.  This is a great opportunity to enjoy the fun without breaking the bank, plus there will be some great food and shopping with vendors and a full-scale KCBS barbecue competition.

For more information on PorktoberQue, call (334) 699-1475

So here’s what’s going on.

Fate? Cosmos? Divine (swine) Intervention? Damn good luck?

I don’t know what to call the series of events the past couple weeks, but I believe that I’m fortunate things happened when they did. Let me enlighten you…

Two weeks ago, I received a call from Center Stage that they were having second thoughts about hosting PorktoberQue. (Remember, back in January they offered  to let us use their RV park for free.) Then July 13th they started thinking there might be some expenses incurred during the festival and they wanted to sit down to rethink the whole thing and make sure they knew who was paying for what.

It should have been a fairly quick process to meet and hash things out. Much to my aggravation, the four people who needed to meet couldn’t get their schedules together for over a week. This meant I had to stop working on getting sponsors, I didn’t know what to tell teams and vendors who were sending in their money, and I couldn’t post any updates on the festival October 5-6.

Finally after a half dozen calls and even more emails, we decided we could meet Tuesday afternoon after 5pm or Wednesday, July 25 at 2:00 pm. Due to a schedule conflict, I chose the Wednesday meeting.

If you live in Southeast Alabama, you already know about the “raid” on Center Stage the morning of Wednesday July 25th. State agents, the attorney general and the sheriff were all there serving search warrants and collecting the 400 electronic bingo machines.  I’m pretty thankful that I wasn’t out there when it all went down!

We still had a meeting at 2:00 (minus the representatives from HEDA, who were still being questioned at the Center Stage facility) and I was given reassurances that everything should be ok to hold PorktoberQue. But we don’t’ know if the doors will be open, or if the electricity would be on, of if there would be anything out a the facility for spectators to do.

As much as I appreciate the assurances from the property owners group, my gut feeling says that I need to move PorktoberQue to protect the festival. At least if I move it to another location that’s not under the threat of a raid or closure, that’s one headache I can avoid the week before the event. (There’s enough headaches planning a festival and barbecue competition — we don’t need to add any!)

The folks at the Houston County farm Center have been gracious enough to accomidate PorktoberQue. We get to share the facility with the Dothan Eagle (who will be having their fall yard sale up in the building), but we feel like there will be enough separation with PorktoberQue down on the lower midway area and the Eagle up in the building, and it may be beneficial to both of us.

The change in venue shouldn’t affect spectators, but it will affect teams and judges.  Team won’t have the beautiful cement RV pad with a ton of space as originally thought when we were going to be at the Center Stage RV park. We’re back to 20’ x 40’ spaces and you’ll need a long hose to hook up water. Sorry. Judges- you were going to have a brand new event room, with plush chairs and air conditioning. Now you’re in a tent. But it will be early October, so maybe it won’t be quite so hot.

When Center Stage was donating the facility and judges area, we had very little out of pocket expense. Now, we have to do some serious fundraising to come up with the money to rent the Farm Center and money to rent tents for the judges, beer, and barbecue tasting. If you know of a business who would like to support PorktoberQue and receive awesome advertising and marketing benefits please let me know and I’ll give them a call.

Please support us during this move in venue, and come on out October5th and 6th to enjoy some great barbecue, music and entertainment. Admission is free so there’s no excuse to not check our PorktoberQue!  We’ll keep updating you here at and let you know what’s going on at the Wiregrass’ first barbecue competition and Oktoberfest!

What’s the KCBS, and why does their sanctioning matter?

I get this question once in a while from people who aren’t involved in the barbecue world. (That, and why are you so obsessed with BBQ … but there’s no answer for that one.)

Let’s start with the basics. Here’s what their web site has to say:

About the Kansas City Barbeque Society

THE KANSAS CITY BARBEQUE SOCIETY (KCBS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and enjoying barbeque, is the world’s largest organization of barbeque and grilling enthusiasts with over 15,000 members worldwide.

KCBS sanctions over 400 barbeque contests coast-to-coast throughout America. From volunteering to actual event production, our members also offer assistance to civic and charitable organizations who organize events.

KCBS serves as a clearinghouse of barbeque information which provides:

  • Networking with related trade associations and other contest-sanctioning organizations
  • Tracking trends in barbeque related products, and equipment
  • Teaming up with other food organizations and the media to promote barbeque

With our library, and extensive archive of barbeque related articles, KCBS offers educational programs, consultation services, and civic organization presentations to help promote barbeque as America’s Favorite Cuisine. Find out more at

 The other contest we organize, the Tri-State BBQ Festival in the spring is a FBA (Florida Bar-B-Que) sanctioned event. How do these two organizations differ?

The short answer is this: In FBA, you turn in a box of meat (only) in KCBS you include garnish. In FBA, turn ins are every hour on the hour. In KCBS, it’s every thirty minutes. In KCBS, you get each of your judges scores and an average. In FBA, you just get a score from the table.
Both groups cook the same four meats- chicken, ribs, pork and brisket.
KCBS, FBA… how many of these sanctioning bodies are there in the US?
A lot. An awful lot. Probably more than what’s listed below. But the top three east of the Mississippi are the KCBS, the MBN, and the FBA (by number of contests they sanction.)
Here’s the list—-
Alaska BBQ Association
Arizona Barbeque Association
Atlanta Barbecue Club
Barbecue Championship Series
Big Apple BBQ Society
California BBQ Association
Central Florida Barbecue Association
Central Texas Barbecue Association
East Texas Barbecue Cookers Association
Florida BBQ Association
Florida Panhandle BBQ Society
Georgia BBQ Championship
Great Lakes BBQ Association
Greater Houston Barbecue Society
Greater Omaha Barbeque Society
Greater Wichita Barbeque Society
Hawaii BBQ Club
Illinois BBQ Society 
Intermountain Barbecue Association
International BBQ Cookers Association
Iowa BBQ Society
Kansas City Barbeque Society
Lonestar Barbecue Society
Louisiana BBQ Cookers Association
Memphis BBQ Association (MBA)
Memphis Barbecue Network (MBN)
Memphis In May (MIM)
Michigan BBQ Association
Mid-Atlantic BBQ Association
Minnesota BBQ Society
Mosquito County (FL) BBQ Society
National Barbecue Association
National Championship BBQ Cookoff Assoc.
New England BBQ Society
New Mexico BBQ Association
North Carolina Barbecue Society
North Texas Area BBQ Cookers Association
Ohio BBQ Society
Pacific Northwest Barbecue Association
Pennsylvania BBQ Association
Pineywoods BBQ Association East
Prairie BBQ Association
Rocky Mountain BBQ Association
Southern BBQ Network
Southern California BBQ Association
South Carolina BBQ Association
South Texas BBQ Association
Southwest Arkansas Bar-B-Q Association
Southwest Missouri BBQ Association
St. Louis BBQ Society
Tennessee BBQ Network
Texas BBQ Association
Texas Gulf Coast BBQ Cooker’s Association
Third Coast BBQ Association
Tri-State BBQ Association
Utah BBQ Association
Western BBQ Association
West Slope Barbecue Association
West Texas Barbecue Association
Wisconsin Barbeque Society
Next time… we’ll talk a little about what the most prestigious BBQ competitions are in the US. PorktoberQue is a qualifier for two of the most recognized barbecue competitions in the world!