Juneteenth committee plans for BBQ Cook-Off

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 6, 2019

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


Juneteenth may be months away but the committee for the festival is hard at work planning the event, which will include a Barbecue Cook-Off this year.

Juneteenth will be a three-day event Friday, June 14 – Sunday, June 16 at the Riverfront Pavilion in downtown Orange.

Saturday will host a cook-off for barbecue pit masters to show off who has the best tasting brisket, ribs or chicken.

The judged event will have one winner, who will receive $1,000, a trophy, a t-shirt and the ultimate bragging rights of the best barbecue in the area.

Entry fee is $200. To enter, contact Benitris Edwards at 409-330-6730.

“If you have a barbecue pit, come on,” Edwards said when asked who could participate in the contest.

There will be three judges casting their votes for the best of the best barbecue.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with the news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free according to juneteenth.com.

Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.