North Carolina Pickleball

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 When Joe Sink, Jr., publisher of THE DISPATCH, discussed his love of festivals with BB&T officials in 1983 he had no idea that it would lead to Lexington hosting one of the Country’s most popular food festivals.
BB&T and THE DISPATCH agreed to hire Kay Saintsing, a local organization developer and manager, to complete a feasibility study on a new community event. With Saintsing’s research and recommendations in hand both companies felt it was time to launch the first annual Barbecue Festival in Lexington on October 27, 1984. Event specialist, Kay Saintsing and her staff at Saintsing Management Services (now Preferred Events) produced the festival. Preferred Events now works throughout the year planning Lexington’s largest event. Tragically, Kay Saintsing unexpectedly passed away at age 53 on June 7, 2002. Continuing with the family tradition, Kay’s daughter Stephanie will continue to plan this very important community event.

Critical to the success of the event has been the special cooperation given the festival by the City of Lexington, Davidson County, as well as the owners of the popular barbecue restaurants throughout the area. This support, coupled with sponsorships provided by area businesses, has ensured the continued vitality and growth of the Annual Barbecue Festival.

Today, the festival has become an annual tradition that is held on one of the last two Saturdays in October. The 33rd Annual Barbecue Festival will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2016. In addition to the festival, the City of Lexington and Davidson County has officially declared October as “Barbecue” month. Events are held throughout the month of October which lead to the grand finale, the Barbecue Festival. Events that are held during the month of October include the Tour de Pig-the annual cycling event benefiting the Mental Health Association in Davidson County. Also included is a golf tournament, fishing tournament, and petanque tournament. All of these events draw talented athletes from across the Southeast. There is also a contest for creative writers, the Pepsi “Pig Tales” writing competition. The event is open to children and adults. Professional staff at the Lexington Branch of the Davidson County Public Library serve a judges for the competition. Winners in all divisions win a year’s supply of Pepsi.

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