Barbecue Nation Opening Day

Barbecue Nation Opening Day

Kick off national barbecue month with the opening of our newest exhibition, Barbecue Nation!

Opening day highlights include a keynote talk by renowned pit master Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Alabama, and Erika Council of the Southern Soufflé blog preparing desserts and sides in the Smith Family Farm kitchen. Enjoy demonstrations of meat preservation techniques from 1860 and 2018 at the Smith Family Farm Smokehouse. Listen to music by Bluegrass Flashmob before trying crafts and hands-on activities including Make Your Own Spice Rub, food-related scavenger hunts and more.

To learn more about Barbecue Nation, click here.

Schedule of Activities

Program Highlight: Barbecue Nation Opening Keynote with Chris Lilly
Kennedy Theatre   

Learn more about the history of barbecue from renowned pit master Chris Lilly! Chris Lilly is the VP and partner of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q, a 5-generation family owned restaurant in Decatur, AL opened in 1925.  He also heads the award-winning Big Bob Gibson Cooking Team, the winner of 15 World BBQ Championships in meat categories and a record 5 Memphis in May Grand Championships. In 2009, Lilly authored a compilation of recipes, stories, and expert advice on outdoor cooking: BIG BOB GIBSON’S BBQ BOOK, Recipes and Secrets from a Legendary Barbecue Joint. His second book FIRE & SMOKE, A Pitmaster’s Secrets was released in 2014.   

Program Highlight: BBQ Sides and Desserts with Erika Council 
Smith Farm Kitchen

Join Erika Council as she prepares desserts and sides such as cobbler, banana pudding, mac and cheese, potato salad, red Lexington cole slaw and hush puppies and learn more about her North Carolina barbecue roots! Erika Council is a baker, biscuit whisperer and author of the award winning blog Southern Soufflé. She currently runs the biscuit breakfast pop up at B’s Cracklin BBQ on selected Saturdays.    

Smoking Demonstration: 1860 vs. 2018 
Smith Farm Smokehouse   

Learn about past vs.present meat preservation and smoking techniques as we smoke bacon and ham in our 1860s smokehouse and on Charbroil’s CB940X® Charcoal Grill!   

Bluegrass Flashmob 
10:30am, 11:30am, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm 
Exhibition Hallway   

Bluegrass Flashmob is not your Grandpappy's bluegrass band, but a darker-haired variety with way more fashion sense. Plenty of harmony and musicianship that you might expect, but with a crowd that knows a little somethin' and has better dance moves. Upbeat Bluegrass, Folk, and Americana at a reasonable volume.   

Crafts and Hands On Activities
Allen Atrium

Crafts and activities include Make Your Own Spice Rub and more!


Lovies BBQ vending