1000s head to Humble for BBQ fest
About 2,000 hungry Houstonians showed up at the Humble Civic Center on Sunday with a tray and a mission at hand — to eat as much barbecue as possible.
The 7th annual Houston BBQ Festival took place in Humble with 30 barbecue vendors.
The festival’s director Michael Fulmer said it was so successful when they hosted it in Humble last year so they decided to come back.
“Where we were before at NRG Park was fine, but it was just a big parking lot. And here it seems like a little thing, but having facilities is a big deal. Having a covered area, the location, the space — the people who run it are fantastic and incredibly accommodating,” Fulmer said.
There were some veteran barbecue joints that have made their presence known over the years such as Pinkerton’s Barbecue, Spring Creek Barbecue and Pappa Charlie’s Barbeque.
“We have a restaurant, we have plenty on our plate but at the end of the day most of the guys that are out here have restaurants as well and we don’t have time to get to each other’s restaurants and see each other,” Jared Jurena, pitmaster of Pappa Charlie’s said. “We came out cooking together and this is an event where we get to come out, spend time with each other and it’s a family.”
There were also some first-timers such as Eaker Barbecue, Rusty Buckle BBQ Company and Daddy Duncan’s BBQ who were excited to be part of such a prestigious event in the barbecue community.
“All it took was an invite,” Lance Eaker, owner of Eaker Barbecue said. “Chris Reid (Houston BBQ Festival cofounder) just needed to call me and say, ‘hey can you come?’ and we were ready to go. It’s a great marketing event. It’s a great event to hang out with all the pitmasters and all the owners and chat up business. It’s a great community and this is the best way integrate yourself into that community.”
Many of these pitmasters settled in their stations at the civic center the night before, to prep their food, smoke their meat overnight and just to catch up with their fellow pitmasters and friends.
People were lined up outside of the civic center an hour before the VIPs were allowed in and the pitmasters and their crews were more than ready to feed the massive crowd.
For many people it was their first time attending the Houston BBQ Festival and were eager to see what kind of barbecue joints Houston has to offer.
“Barbecue is so different and everyone has their own spin on things especially depending on where it’s from but this is all Texas barbecue,” Houston resident Lindsi Toomey said. “You get so many variety.”
For those who have attended several festivals, they knew that a tray in this occasion is their best friend.
“These people go all out and do extraordinary things. They’re trying out new menu items and interesting flavor combinations and (being here) it’s a first crack at the genius (creations) they’re going to share with everyone else,” Katy resident Terri Towers said.