Food for All

Barbecue or chili? You don't have to choose, with two cook-offs happening locally this Saturday.

It’s a tough choice for a fall weekend: barbecue or chili?

Good thing you can do both!

The BBQ, Blues and Brews Festival kicks off on Saturday at 1 p.m., where a $20 tasting ticket allows you to taste 20 barbecue samples of your choice, from among three contest zones, as area teams go head-to-head in yummy, friendly competition.

A panel of five judges, in a blind tasting, will choose the first, second and third place BBQ Cook-Off winners, and a People’s Choice award will go to the cooking team receiving the most votes during the day’s contest.

True to its name, this fundraising festival benefiting the Fuquay-Varina Downtown Association offers all our favorite things in one place.

Along with the barbecue, try out a great selection of craft beers by breweries including the likes of Aviator, Draft Line and Fainting Goat.

And tap your toes to a variety of blues and bluegrass music from the Jimmy King Trio; Emily Musolino; Urban Soil; and Magnolia Still.

The BBQ, Blues & Brews Festival will be held in the Varina district of Fuquay-Varina, with multiple parking areas.

Get all the details at

Chili, too

In Cary on Saturday, the Fire in the Hole Chili Cook-Off runs from noon to 4 p.m., at Fortnight Brewing Company.

Tickets are $15, and give you the chance to try chili made by some of the best chefs in the area, including Regan Stachler of Little Hen, Bryan Dahlstrom of Centerplate, James Johnson of Tribeca Tavern, Eamon Kelly of Trali Irish Pub, and Jonathan Ballard of Sassool.

Presented by the Polka Dot Mama Melanoma Foundation, proceeds of this event go toward the installation of sunscreen dispensers at fire stations across Cary. The idea came from a Cary firefighter diagnosed with melanoma at age 36, who sought medical care after seeing PDMMF’s awareness efforts.

For more information, see

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