BBQ Fest 2019 in Kinston: List of Friday & Saturday Events

BBQ Fest 2019 in Kinston: List of Friday & Saturday Events

By Rimma Bondarenko

photo credit:  Rimma Bondarenko // Shutterstock

Its all going down this weekend in Kinston, BBQ Fest 2019 on the Neuse, and here’s a list of events, entertainment and food vendors scheduled for this weekend festivities.


8 a.m.-3 p.m. 150+ vendors open for business in Downtown Festival District.

9 a.m.  Registration for “Plein Air Paint Out” at Kinston Arts Center, 400 N. Queen Street – Local artists can participate in a juried exhibition and show. Artists’ works must be submitted on Saturday, May 4, at the Kinston Arts Council for judging by a nationally-known Plein Air artist. The Jurors’ Awards ceremony is Saturday, May 4, at the Kinston Arts Council.

12:00 p.m. – Set up of cook teams for 38th annual Wil King Hog Happenin’ at corner of Caswell and Heritage Streets.

3:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – Amusement Rides at Pearson Park, off Mitchell Street and North Streets. Wristbands: $25.00 per-person, $5.00 off with coupon. Adult and youth rides will be available, including a Ferris wheel, Super Shot Drop Tower, Swing Ride, Dragon Wagon and merry-go-round. Carnival rides this year are presented by Inner’s Amusements, a family-owned amusement company that has been in operation since 1909 and has a variety of carnival rides providing fun for the entire family.

5 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Fun Zone featuring Karaoke, Dancing with Flimsy, and other family-friendly activities.

5 p.m. – Flimsy’s Fun Fest Music & Games

6 p.m. – Flimsy’s Dance Party



EAT BBQ: 5 p.m.-Until at Pepsi Wagon at the corner of Blount & Mitchell Streets and near Mother Earth Sercy Garden and Stage at the corner of Caswell & Heritage Streets – Eat grass-fed, farm-raised beef, sauced with Kings BBQ Beef Sauce, in a BBQ Beef sandwich! Sandwich toppings, sauces, Pepsi products and chips also available.

5 p.m.-10 p.m. – Mother Earth Sercy Garden.

5 p.m.- 6 p.m. – Live Music & Entertainment on Blount Street Stage – Lineup TBA.

5 p.m.-9 p.m. – Dinner at Lovick’s Café, 320 N. Heritage Street

Fish, Shrimp, Grilled Chicken, Hamburger Steaks Plates – Includes 2 veggies and Toss Salad.

5 p.m.-9 p.m. – Find a Hog Bot throughout the ArtsFest area and Heritage Street. Turn in Hog Bots to claim great prizes, and keep your Hog Bots, which are handmade by local artists.
5 p.m.-10 p.m. Arts Market offering painting, pottery, sculptures, scarves and other unique works of art created by local artisans. Indoor Arts Market at buildings on corner of Mitchell and Blount Streets and corner of Blount & Heritage Streets; Outdoor Arts Market along Mitchell Street.

5 p.m.-9 p.m. – ArtsFest on Heritage Street near Mitchell Street. All ages are welcome to release the artist within by painting a pre-designed canvas depicting the festival and downtown scenes.

6 p.m. – 9 p.m. – Concert by Johnny Badcheck & the Bouncers, on Blount Street Stage.



5-10 pm Eastern Entertainment With Jerry Hill’s Beach Rhythm & Blues



5 p.m. – Music by WRNS Disc Jockey Chase Adams  

5 p.m. – Carolina Classic Cruisers Cruise-In for Vehicles 1993 and older, at Heritage and Gordon Streets.

5 p.m.-9 p.m. – Free, guided tours of The O’Neil Luxury Hotel Lobby at 200 N. Queen Street.

5 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Beer Garden at Farmer’s Market Area – Purchase beer by the cup from craft breweries and local bars.

5 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Wine Garden on Heritage Street between Gordon and Caswell Streets – Tastings offered by North Carolina wineries. Purchase your favorite wines to take home or buy them as gifts for your friends and family!

5 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Vodka Garden at Farmers Market Area

5:30 p.m. – Zumba with Sassy’s Fitness at Farmers Market Area
6:15 p.m. – Mayor’s Golden Key AwardMayor Don Hardy will present awards to Kinston citizens for outstanding service to Kinston.

7 p.m. – Welcome and introduction of Wil King Hog Happenin’ cook teams, briefing for Chief Cooks.
7 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Meet Sam Jones’ Restaurant BBQ Pit Crew at Farmers Market Area and watch them cook up a farm-raised whole hog.

7:30 p.m. – Cook Teams Showmanship Competition at Heritage and Caswell Streets.
7:30 p.m. – Concert by North Tower Band at Heritage Street Stage.

10:00 p.m. – FIREWORKS!



Many events will be taking place across Kinston’s Downtown Festival District on Saturday, but here are the times and locations for the main BBQ-related events:

8:00 a.m. – Until at Heritage Street Area – On-site judging of each cook team’s BBQ at Hog Happenin’ BBQ Competition

10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Best of the Best BBQ Tasting at Caswell & Heritage Streets. After the judging of each of the former champion’s hogs is finished, the public can taste the Best of the Best BBQ in Eastern Carolina, with the purchase of a $15 wristband. Wristbands sold at 10:30 a.m. at the corner of Caswell & Heritage Streets.

1:30 p.m. at Heritage Street Stage – 2019 Hog Happenin’ Cook Off and Showmanship Awards Presentation.


See a list of all of Saturday’s events on the BBQ Fest on the Neuse website.