Weather beats BBQ bash

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The Central Florida Pork & Wings BBQ Bash and Competition was a victim to rain in its opening weekend.Organizers expected a large crowd due to the allure of a summertime BBQ, but cloudy skies and afternoon showers put a damper on the festivities.

Rain did not play a factor in the mood of event organizers, who stayed optimistic.

“With this being our first event we tried to market it as best as we could,” said event spokesperson, Vel Johnson. “For the most part, we’re rather pleased with the outcome.”

Around 16 vendors were expected to show, but many were discouraged because of the weather.

“You don’t have to have 100 different vendors to find something you can appreciate,” said Johnson. “It’s small at this point but as we continue to branch out we’ll be bringing in more vendors. We’re already planning next year’s events.”

The Orlando rain also stopped the grilling competition noted in the event’s title.

“I think the weather discouraged a lot of people, businesses even,” said Pine Hills resident Alice Tims. “Hopefully next time the weather will play along, because it’s a great family event for our community.”

Vendors like Mr. Fed’s Fresh and Famous Foods kept their grills ablaze. Owner Eric Fedrick was one of two vendors who came prepared to grill.

“I think it’s great to support community events like this,” said Ocoee resident Julien Pierre. “Especially since it’s a barbecue!”

Other vendors included AT&T and Mama Jugs. Raffles for vacation trips were offered, and fried desserts were sold as well.

“Last night we had a DJ and people were eating over here,” said Johnson, pointing to a covered picnic area. “The DJ is supposed to come back tonight and we’re supposed to have a trio to add to the ambiance.”

Organizers expect a larger crowd, more vendors and less rain next year.