One of downtowns most cherished annual traditions the Raleigh Christmas Parade will be accompanied this Saturday by another Southern favorite: barbecue.
For the first time, the N.C. Pork Councils Whole Hog Barbecue Championship will coincide with the parade. More than 25 barbecue enthusiasts will cook hogs overnight Friday on Lenoir Street downtown. The pork will be judged Saturday morning, then chopped up and sold at midday, just as the parade is wrapping up.
The Raleigh cook-off has been held in the fall for the past two years, as part of World of Bluegrass week. But this years heavy rains during that week forced a cancellation. Organizers still hoped to be able to put on a barbecue championship, though, particularly since it is a major annual fund-raising event for the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle.
So, they looked ahead to the next big downtown event the Christmas parade.
We thought it would be a perfect fit, said Jennifer Martin, executive director of the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association, which puts on the parade.
As in recent years, the parade will start at 9:40 a.m. at the intersection of Hillsborough and St. Marys streets, then proceed to the State Capitol and down Fayetteville Street before ending at Lenoir ...