Sunday, March 22, 2015

Perrytown B-B-Q
- After Three Year Hiatus
Our Blog Return Starts With ...

The Perrytown Volunteers - A Great Team!
And Their Spring Bar-B-Q Chicken Festival!

by Dean Stephens

The Volunteer Fire Department of Perrytown, Station 53 of Bertie County, is a success because of the incredible volunteers who support the fundraisers that keep the Fire Trucks running.  The popular Perrytown Spring B-B-Q Chicken Festival is an annual event that helps keep this organization serving the local community.  I covered the event 3 years ago just as I had to stop blogging for personal commitments that were taking all my time.  That article was the last event covered by the Chowan River Patriot, until this year.  Now this years Festival is the first event covered as we end the three year hiatus and renew publishing our blog.   It seems fitting that we are covering an organization that is supported by so many hard working and dedicated local citizens.  This is a great community with people who care.

The following are the people who volunteer for the Fire Department to put out the fires, as well as work so hard to make this Spring Festival a success:  David Baker, Brice Cullipher, Brent Daniels, Mark Daniels, Richard Daniels, Kenneth Davidson, Trent Davidson, Matt Hoggard, Shannon Hoggard, Brian Hughson, Keith Hughson, Kevin Johnson, James Jordan, Toby King, Austin Lawrence, Harold Lawrence, Mack Lawrence, Steven Lawrence, Angeano Leary, Keith Lee, Rodney Lee, Tommy Northcutt, Chris Paspas, William Perry, Jimmy Pierce, Alan Simons, Marcus Thomas, and Gregory Todd.

They are joined in their efforts by other volunteers who work with them to make the Spring Festival a success:  Paulette Pierce, Jennifer Daniels, Phyllis Davidson, Kaye Hughson, Alice Lee, 
Bonnie Jordan, Peggy Brown, Carolyn Lawrence, Chrissy Hughson,  Donna Morris, Liz Casper, Lee Lawrence, Pam Lawrence, Beth Northcutt, Glenda Basnight, Kim Daniels, Webster Daniels, Haywood White, George Hughes, Marcie Todd, Heather Paspas, Sherri Baker, Leslie Lawrence, and Augie King.

Ronnie Felton from the Colerain Fire Department was a special help, as he was in charge of all the cookers that were used to prepare the chicken.

This event takes a massive effort on everyone's part.

The planning and organizing  goes on for months.

Starting Friday, the all day preparation consumes hundreds of man hours to get ready for the Saturday event.  Pick up the chickens and then clean 1450 chicken halves and placing them into coolers so they can be cooked in stages all day Saturday, assuring each customer gets his chicken dinner fresh off the Bar-B-Que cookers.  Peel and clean 650 pounds of potatoes.  Clean and cut 450 pounds of cabbage for the slaw.   Cut and slice 60 pounds of onions, and a whole lot of tears are shed with this task.  Then set up the tables and chairs.  Prepare all the cookers and associated paraphernalia that heats the charcoal to carefully control the heat for the master chefs who always cook the chickens to perfection.   The volunteers asked that a special mention be made for C. J. Meats, who were helpful above and beyond to make this event a success.  That concludes the Friday preparation.

Saturday morning the volunteers have to get out of bed to be at the station by 5:00 AM, so the Bar-B-Q can be perfect, the slaw prepared, the potatoes cooked,  the deserts made ready, the bread and sauce organized... along with hundreds of other details to make sure everything is perfect and the meal the customer gets is perfect.

The concern the volunteers show is simply amazing.  As usual this event went well because of their work.  A special thank you to all of them.   Following are pictures taken throughout the day showing them doing their work to deliver a perfect Bar-B-Q Chicken to the people who came out.  

It is good to be back blogging about our local community and its events!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Perrytown B-B-Q
Eleven A.M. - It's Showtime!

Customers Start Arriving For Take Out And Eat In

by Dean Stephens

Saturday it was time again for the Spring Perrytown B-B-Q Chicken Festival. Take out or eat in. Either is the best B-B-Q Chicken you can get. This year there was more take out than ever, so clearly the event is catching on.


Jimmy Pierce, Rick Daniels, Phyllis Davidson, Donna Morris, Lee Lawrence, Jennifer Daniels and Charles Forward are gearing up for the take out customers.

It is so nice to pick up "take out orders" inside the new Perrytown Fire Station. Everyone stays dry, even when it is raining, as it was this year.

Jennifer Daniels grabs some B-B-Q Chicken hot off the grill to add to a take out plate.

Lee Lawrence makes some plates for take out.

Donna Morris, Lee Lawrence and Paulette Pierce keep the plates moving down the line.

Paulette Pierce with the first plate ready for the first order of the year.

And that first take out order for the year 2012 is for 9 dinners, picked up by Brandice Cullipher, greeted by Bud Lee.

The order is ready and goes in the back seat.  Brandice is helped by Jimmy Pierce.


All you need is your prepaid ticket. James Jordan was taking tickets this year and greeting the people who were eating in.

First "eat in" customers of the year 2012.

Bonnie Jordan, and in the background, Linda Hedgebeth, Kay Hughson, Pam Lawrence and Sue Dawson, prepare plates for the eat in customers.

Carolyn Lawrence, Sue Dawson, Kay Hughson,  Bonnie Jordan, Beth Northcott and Peggy Brown keep the plates coming.

Beth Northcott, Pam Lawrence,  Peggy Brown and Rosanna Thomas.

Another year. Another great event. See you for the Herring Dinner in the fall.

Perrytown B-B-Q
Saturday - March 24th

Cooking Starts Early

by Dean Stephens

 Saturday morning starts really early. The volunteers that cook the BBQ have to prepare a number of details to make this food taste so good. For an event of this size it takes a lot of BBQ "pig cookers" which need huge amounts of charcoal to generate the heat needed, and a steady stream of fresh BBQ sauce.

Most of the volunteers work on the "pig cookers" under the cooking shelter (just added last year).

Shannon Hoggard, Brian Hughson, Steven Lawrence, Peppy Leary, Keith Hughson, Marcus Thomas, Toby King are getting the "pig cookers" ready to cook the "worlds greatest chicken".  A couple of guys in the back could not be identified because the cameraman did not do his job.

While they were getting ready to cook the chicken, Bill Perry cooked some sausage to feed the volunteers.

Shannon Hoggard, Joe Alexander, Tab Brooks, Bill Perry, Keith Hughson, and Trent Davidson are getting ready to start cooking.  Smoke blocked one of the volunteers and the last guy on the right is too hidden for me to identify also. 

Hot charcoal is critical to great BBQ.  Bill Hedgebeth, Peppy Leary, Toby King and Billy Dunlow start loading charcoal into a "pig cooker".

Lots of volunteers continue to arrive.

Bill Hedgebeth and Joe Alexander heat up more coals for another batch of B-B-Q Chicken.

It is time. Let's start cooking BBQ.  Joe Alexander, Marcus Thomas and Peppy Leary place the chicken into perfect rows.

When they are done, it makes a pretty sight.

Slow cooking is best.

These pictures are time lapsed over nearly 4 hours, which is how long it takes to make one batch of chicken.

Looks ready to flip the chicken!

One final dip in the special BBQ sauce! Stephen Lawrence and Tommy Northcott place the hot BBQ into insulated coolers to keep the chicken hot and moist.

Jody Sary, Tommy Northcott and Trent Davidson help out. 

Looks as great as it will taste.

Have to cook the potatoes too so Brian Hughson grabs another batch of the potatoes that were peeled and prepped on Friday.

Jimmy Pierce and Rick Daniels check the potatoes regularly to make sure they cook just right. 

Some work so hard they have to rest... Rick Daniels, Jimmy Pierce, Billy Smithwick, Mac Lawrence, Milton Felton and Brent Daniels discuss what they are going to do next.

Kenny and Phyllis Davidson... with Brent Daniels, making more sauce for the next batch of BBQ.

Sue Dawson, Kay Hughson, Paulette Pierce, Pam Lawrence and Phylllis Davis, with Alice Lee hidden in the background, make slaw.  Good slaw is a lot of work, and their slaw is the absolute best.

The ladies admire their work.

Great deserts finish the meal.  Carolyn Lawrence and Linda Hedgebeth add the last couple of cakes for the early customers to choose.

Work is not over, but they were ready for the first customers.