This weekend’s Squealin’ on the Square marks the 17th annual event which brings thousands into Laurens for a chance to savor beef brisket, barbecue chicken or ribs created by masters of the craft, but there are always those visitors who love the opportunity to try something different – or in the case of young children – the chance for parents to buy their little ones something they’ll definitely eat, even if it’s grilled cheese and peanut butter and jelly.
“We have a few new vendors this year who cook a really wide variety of foods,” said Main Street Laurens director Jonathan Irick.
A couple of vendors, one out of Woodruff and another, One Love Food Fusion from the Simpsonville and Fountain Inn area, offer grilled cheese and other comfort foods, including pancakes, waffles, egg sandwiches and even the proverbial PB&J to entice children who might find the spices of barbecue unappealing.
Caribbean flavors of chicken and tropical lemonade can be purchased from a Clinton-based vendor, Brenda’s Caribbean Eats.
“Over the last couple of years we’ve been lacking in the wider variety of food options,” Irick said. “It comes and goes with food vendors and this is a really busy festival weekend, so we’re glad to get to try these new vendors who have never been here before.”
There are already more than 25 barbecue teams signed up for the Kansas City Barbecue Society competition, and many of them are excited about the new Palmetto Series that is going on concurrently with this weekend’s Squealin’ on the Square festival competition.
Those competitors who enjoy selling samples will still be located on the square while those teams here specifically for the competition will be placed in the United Community Bank parking area that in the past has been traditionally filled with classic cars and trucks. Those vehicles will be located just a short distance up West Main Street and in the Laurens County Sheriff Department parking lot, Irick said.
Food vendors will begin selling in time for lunch this Friday and the live music begins Friday afternoon, leading into a Friday night of beach music performed by the Carolina Coast Band.
Saturday begins early with the antique tractor and engine show and 4-H groups and their animals located Down on the Farm, the Parade of Power at 12:15 p.m. and musical guests throughout the day. Mac Arnold and a Plate Full of Blues, a long-time favorite among Squealin’ on the Square visitors, will cap the festival with music on the Downtown Square Saturday night from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday.
For more information, see Main Street Laurens’ Squealin’ on the Square insert in Wednesday’s issue of The Laurens County Advertiser.