Annual cook-off in Lexington put on the chopping block

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LEXINGTON, N.C. — A Lexington tradition is coming to an end.

The BBQ Capital Cook-Off, an annual cook-off showcasing different types of barbecue, is done after almost a decade.

“We have been evaluating the cook-off each year and we have just come to the conclusion that for Uptown Lexington, it does not fit our charter nor is it really becoming the fundraiser that we need it to be,” said Rebekah McGee, executive director of Uptown Lexington.

The fundraiser showcased different styles of Kansas City barbecue.

The problem was it wasn’t consistently bringing in money and the organization lost $1,000 last year.

“I don’t like it. It brought a lot of people to Lexington. A lot of notoriety along with the barbecue festival,” said Michael Conrad, owner of B-B-Q Center in Lexington.

It was a decision that’s been met with mixed reviews.

“Our goal here is to bring people to Lexington and getting rid of that just eliminates some of it,” Conrad said.

He liked the diversity the competition brought but is excited to see the Pigs in the City art initiative coming back.

“That brought a lot of people to Lexington and that brought it all year,” Conrad said.

The city gets fiber glass pigs, artists decorate them and businesses display them for people to see along most streets.

“There’s about 150 of them floating around somewhere from previous fundraisers,” McGee said.

Pigs in the City will relaunch in 2020.

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