Pigs and Peaches festival charms locals with BBQ and music


Courtesy of Chris Nowak (presto photography)

Pigs and Peaches celebrated their twentieth year of BBQ and fun with another entertaining festival. Homemade lemonade appeared at multiple stands and the scent of classic southern food wafted through the air. Now one of the region’s most beloved festivals, the event annually attracts an estimated sixty five thousand visitors.

Hannah Gresham, Features Editor

From its modest beginnings in Kennesaw’s historic train depot in 2000, Pigs and Peaches transformed into a well-known, entertaining festival. The event, which takes place in Kennesaw at Adams Park, features two days of non-stop music, mouth-watering food, and plenty of family-oriented fun.

Vendor stands cover concrete trails where locals lined up for foods such as funnel cakes, chicken tenders, fried Oreos, and barbeque. The blazing sun and sweet peaches remind Kennesaw natives of the Deep South. 

Vendors sold countless homemade goods, such as jewelry, bags, shirts, and authentic leather belts. Soap Scents and Such showed off their variety of specialty soaps, bath bombs, bath salts, facial products, and more at their stand. 

“Our soaps are all super creative and colorful, I couldn’t choose a favorite. I have a lot of fun making them and being able to earn money off of a hobby is a plus,” owner Jane Mauritz said. 

Mayor Derek Easterling announced the winners of the barbeque contest in the late afternoon on Saturday, with an awaiting crowd cheering on the multiple contestants. The competition splits contestants into two separate categories: Professional and Backyard.  The professional contest, sanctioned by Kansas City Barbeque society, includes experienced teams, while the backyard contest includes inexperienced teams. Participants may come with extensive knowledge of cooking or may come as amateurs, just looking to pursue a hobby. Regardless, the smell of barbeque drifting through the air provides enough reason to compete. 

The judges based the scores on four categories: chicken, pork ribs, pork, and beef brisket. Etowah Smokes, one of the numerous teams competing in the contest, earned high placements in multiple categories. They landed in first place for the peach dessert contest and 3rd place overall. Angry Jack Barbeque left as the grand champion of the competition. The competition team placed high in multiple categories and allowed everyone to observe their impressive skills. 

The family stage presented several dance companies and ensembles, which local groups could apply for online. The White Diamonds Dance team, a dance group in Kennesaw, performed on Saturday and the ecstatic girls walked around the festival after their tiring performance. 

“I like the crowd here, they’re really supportive when we perform and the community makes it a lot of fun,” Boston Simpson, a student at Kell high school and junior co-captain of the team, said. 

The main stage housed performances from local bands throughout the two day festival. Groups like Shyanne, Angie Lynn Carter, Flying Buffalos and more all performed on Saturday. Visitors sat under the large tents near the stage and enjoyed fried foods while cheering on the performances. 

Brittani Farmer, the special events coordinator at Kennesaw Parks and Recreation, and a couple of other employees began planning this impressive event as soon as the previous festival ended. The event takes an abundance of planning and hard work, but it pays off when seeing the happiness the festival brings.

“Pigs and Peaches is something for the entire community to look forward to. I love the variety of entertainment and the abundance of food was delicious,” senior Onyx Kimm said.