Lowcountry Barbecue Festival "Holy Smokes" Returns to Charleston this Fall

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Holy Smokes! Charleston’s own Lowcountry Barbecue Festival is returning on Saturday, November 19.

Holy Smokes BBQ Festival brings the leaders of the national barbecue community together in Charleston for a festival paying homage to the history, culture, and traditions of American barbecue and philanthropic efforts.

This barbecue festival is truly unique from other BBQ festivals across the nation with over 30 pitmasters coming to the Lowcountry from 11 states including Texas, New York, California and right here in South Carolina.

When you think of a barbecue festival, you may immediately think of a cook-off style competition where attendees only get to watch. But at Holy Smokes you have all-you-can-eat access to some of the best BBQ flavors grill masters can dream.

Holy Smokes is a festival of pitmasters that collaborate instead of compete. The pitmasters work together in groups of 6-7 to prepare three plates in each village (Texas, Traditional, New School, and Coastal).

This incredible range of smokey creations are for all festival attendees to sample, experience and enjoy (and boy, will they enjoy.)

Robert Moss, a member of the Holy Smokes planning team, says, “It’s amazing to see the different pitmasters bring their unique styles to the table to share experiences, technique, and truly work together to create some great barbecue.”

Each village has a different theme; allowing attendees the opportunity to appreciate barbecue flavors from every style including classic, Texas, coastal, and new school barbecue.

The Coastal Village is a new addition to this year’s festival, bringing the Lowcountry’s famous fresh-caught seafood into the BBQ mix.

In addition to cooking up excellent barbecue, this festival raises awareness and funds for families affected by pediatric brain cancer through donations to Hogs for the Cause, MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital, and the Ronald McDonald House of Charleston.

Hogs for the Cause is a charity 501c23 assisting families with children who are battling brain cancer. The charity began in New Orleans to help children battling brain cancer and their families. Today, barbecue festivals from all around, including Charleston, partner with this great cause. Holy Smokes is a proud to partner with such a wonderful organization.

This year, Holy Smokes is being held along the Cooper River at the beautiful waterfront venue Riverfront Park in North Charleston.

The venue’s large layout offers more room to spread out and allows the space for three bands to play in a lineup on a large stage. Attendees can enjoy live performances by 49 Winchester, Travers Brothers, and Warrick McZeke.

There will also be even more pitmasters at this year’s festival. While many of last years’ collaborators had an amazing time and couldn’t wait to get back on the BBQ lineup, some new faces joined the team and are eager to bring their skillset to the Lowcountry.

When asked his personal favorite aspect of the festival, Robert Moss had many options come to mind. He said, “One of the things I love most about this festival is the unique location on the water in the Lowcountry at a venue you can’t find anywhere else. And the pitmasters are so creative and talented– you never truly know what to expect. In the best way.”

As far as what type of barbecue you’ll enjoy? It’ll be a wonderful surprise for all. But one thing is certain; you’ll be able to sample the barbecue classics– like the whole hog and ribs.

Want to enjoy innovative barbecue and live music with waterfront views? General admission tickets are still available. Purchase yours here.