Hub City Hog Fest returning to downtown Spartanburg in April

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The Hub City Hog Fest will return for its fifth installment April 7 and 8 at Morgan Square in downtown Spartanburg.

Upstate residents will be able to fill their bellies with delicious barbecue, listen to live music, and sample some refreshing suds in support of Mobile Meals of Spartanburg.

Founded by Spartanburg brothers Grey and Cal Wicker, the annual event has raised more than $200,000 for the faith-based nonprofit, which serves meals to about 2,000 frail and homebound people throughout the county.

“When we started this, we wanted to do something that would benefit a charity and development efforts downtown,” said Grey Wicker, an attorney in Spartanburg. “Spartanburg is a great place to have it. The community support has been amazing.”

In 2016, the event raised $77,000 for Mobile Meals of Spartanburg.

Wicker said the donations have increased every year since the event was first held in 2013. He hopes the trend will continue this year.

“Our goal is to keep going up,” he said. “We passed the three-year mark… We’ll keep doing it as long as the community will support it.”

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Wicker said 45 teams have signed up to compete in the barbecue competition.

At least six food vendors will be there to serve participants in case the teams run out of samples. The list includes Henry’s Smokehouse, Mountain View BBQ, Britney’s Burgers, Three Lil’ Pigs, Killer O, and Caroline’s Cakes.

The teams will set up on Church Street between Main and St. John streets. The event is open to the public.

It will run from noon to 11 p.m. on Friday, April 7, and from noon to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 8.

Entry is free before 5 p.m. on Friday and $5 after 5 p.m. On Saturday, entry is $5 all day. Entry is free for children ages 10 and under on Friday and Saturday.

Live music will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Acoustic Syndicate will take the stage Friday night. Big Daddy Love will headline Saturday night’s festivities.

The barbecue competition is sanctioned by the South Carolina BBQ Association. Competition categories include wings on Friday, and butts, briskets, and ribs on Saturday.

“It is amazing what a small group of dedicated and energetic citizens can do, such as the hugely successful Hub City Hog Fest,” said former Spartanburg Mayor Bill Barnet, who lives downtown, in a statement. “Created and executed by local leaders, this annual event celebrates our community and, importantly, its ‘heart’ by supporting the remarkable ministry of Mobile Meals. The energy and enthusiasm of talented cooks creates resources to help a special part of our population with important needs. A win for all.”

For more information, visit www.hubcityhogfest.com.

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