Day two underway for BBQ Festival in Downtown Florence

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Fire up the grill and heat up that appetite for the Chili, Brews and BBQ Festival in downtown Florence.

The City of Florence Chamber of Commerce is cooking up the first year, of many, for the festival.

It's going to be a signature event for the area, with the goal to draw in big crowds.

The idea in creating the event, is to have something each year, the city would be known for, and you would look forward to coming to.

The Chamber of Commerce wanted to focus the event around something people love, so it was easy to come up with barbeque and brews.

The event will feature 12 barbeque and wing cooks competing for a $1,000 prize and five chili experts going after $150.

You can count on this being a family friendly event, with plenty of vendors and even a kids zone.

Leaders with the chamber say they are hoping this event will draw thousands of people. From what they saw Friday, it is off to a hot start.

“The reaction we've gotten has been immense and wonderful,” said Patricia Burkett with the City of Florence Chamber of Commerce. “Of course when you have a festival like this you want the  crowds to be huge and it looks like its gonna be a pretty big one.”

Not only does it have a local draw, people are traveling in from out of town. There are even competitors in the BBQ contest from out of state.

When choosing the location, it's all about growth. The chamber says no better place to be if you're trying to reinvest in the community.

“Everybody knows that its changing by the minute we have new businesses popping up left and right, new developments,” said Burkett.

The chamber  is hoping this weekends event will be the first of many and will be only one part of the ongoing effort to revitalize the area.

“I think it makes perfect sense for us to be right in the thick of things right in downtown Florence,” she said.

The event is located on South Dargon Street. If you want to join the crowd, the festivities take place starting at 11:00 a.m., lasting until 6:00 p.m.  

Admission to the festival is free.

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All Rights Reserved.