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The new state farmers’ market in Columbia, South Carolina has been open for about 2 years now, and many events, other than what you’d normally expect to see at a farmers’ market have really been a big hit at the market. One of them is the Commissioner’s Cup Bar-b-que competition. Stephen Hudson, with SCDA public relations says last year was such a hit, they decided to do it again:

“Last year was our first year and we had great success. We had a large turn out of people who came to see it.”

This year’s event, scheduled for March 22nd and 23rd, is really two events in one. Friday night’s cookoff is known as Anything Butt:

“For the Anything Butt, the teams can get creative and they can cook anything they want as long as it’s not pork. We have a number of guest judges and its a lot of fun.”

But, Hudson says on Saturday, things get serious:

“On Saturday they get to cooking and we get a lot of people out to see it.”

Last year’s inaugural event saw 22 cooking teams. This year’s cookoff is expected to see more, along with a larger attendance from the public says Hudson:

“We are expecting more teams and more people to come and enjoy some BBQ.”

Hudson also emphasizes that it’s not just a South Carolina competition:

“The teams come in from all over the region. We get teams from NC, GA and its sanctioned by the Southern BBQ Network.”

Hudson outlines the details of the event:

“Its Friday March 22 and Saturday March 23 at the State Farmers Market in our new location in West Columbia. Friday its 5-9PM and its $5 with live entertainment. Saturday it runs 10am – 3 pm and its $10.”

And children under 12 are free with a small donation says Hudson:

“Children 12 and under can get in free with a paying adult if they bring three canned food items.”

For more information visit South Carolina Department of Agriculture’s website:

“Go to our site  and click on the link for the BBQ cookoff.”

Stephen Hudson with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture’s public relations department. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.