Pinehurst Barbecue Festival adds to its unique lineup

The 2022 Pinehurst Barbecue Festival is adding a new event — Wings & Zings, a Celebration of Chicken Wings and Comedy — presented by Cooper Ford and Mountaire Farms on Friday evening, Sept. 2.

The new event will help kick off the second-annual food and entertainment festival and will be staged across from the Pinehurst Brewing Co., featuring pitmaster Adam Hughes of Edenton, N.C. The former Food Network “Chopped Champion” will smoke, grill and fry wings with various BBQ sauces and rubs. In addition to the chicken wings, three comedy acts from Raleigh will perform for 30 minutes each.

Tickets to the Labor Day Weekend event are $20 each and can be purchased in advance at or Additional tickets for events to the 2022 Pinehurst Barbecue Festival, presented by U.S. Foods, Pinehurst Resort and The Pilot newspaper on Sept. 2-4, can also be purchased now.

“Chicken wings and funny things are a perfect combination to kick off the second annual Pinehurst Barbecue Festival,” said Peter Stilwell, co-founder for the festival. “We are always looking for ways to enhance our festival, and this unique event will be a great way to lead into an awesome celebration over Labor Day at the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival.”

“We view the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival as an exceptional way to highlight the North Carolina staple of barbecue, and it’s exciting to add yet another unique offering to our Labor Day weekend lineup for all the BBQ lovers to enjoy,” added Pinehurst Barbecue Festival co-founder David Droschak.

Comedians performing at the Sept. 2 Wings & Zings event from 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. include Andy Forrester, Matt White and Mark Brady. Ticket holders will be treated to five wings and 90 minutes of laughs from the Raleigh-based comedians. Beer, wine and mixed drinks will available along with Coca-Cola products and banana pudding. Gates open at 5 p.m. 

Brady won the title of North Carolina’s funniest person contest held at Goodnights Comedy Club in Raleigh in 2016, as well as season 10 Fight Night champion held at the Comedy Zone in Charlotte. He has performed in the Cape Fear Comedy Festival, Park Slope Comedy Festival, North Carolina Comedy Festival and Cleveland Comedy Festival.
Forrester tours all over the country and his brand of unique and off-the-wall humor has made him a fan favorite at clubs everywhere since 1999. Over the years his high energy and animated comedy has landed him spots working with some of the biggest names in comedy like Louie Anderson, Kevin Pollak, Jimmie “JJ” Walker, Marc Maron, Gilbert Gottfried, Rita Rudner and many more. It is his original and appetizing humor that always leaves audiences begging for more.
White, winner of “NC Funniest 2000,” went from distracting his classmates to engaging audiences nationally. White has performed in comedy festivals across the United States, including the Red Clay Comedy Festival in Atlanta and LA Diversity In Comedy Festival in Los Angeles. He was selected “Best of Fest” at the Cleveland Comedy Festival and is one of the producers of the Oak City Comedy Festival in Raleigh.
Cooper Ford, located in nearby Carthage is the only family-owned Ford Dealership in Moore County. The dealership, owned and operated by Aaron Cooper, is dedicated to providing excellence in products and customer service. The passionate staff provides a hometown feel in which every customer becomes part of the Cooper Ford family.
Mountaire Farms, the nation’s sixth-largest chicken processor, opened a new $170 million processing plant in Chatham County in 2019. The 40-acre complex, Mountaire’s second processing plant in North Carolina, employs over 1,200 and has the capacity to harvest 1.4 million chickens each week, all grown locally by more than 100 family farmers.

The second annual Pinehurst Barbecue Festival, a Celebration of Taste and Tradition, will expand from five to seven pitmasters in 2022, with a combined 1.5 pounds of various meats to sample and 1.5 pounds of Southern country sides to sample, including an all-organic meat option provided at the Master Bend Family Farms pit out of Kenansville, N.C.

In addition, the three-day event will offer for the first time a limited amount of “Early Bird” tickets which will allow a one-hour early entrance for 500 people who want to try to “beat the crowds” at the main sampling event Sunday, Sept. 4, presented by Lin Hutaff’s Pinehurst Realty Group.

Tickets are available online only at

Each of the five featured events — Bourbon & Bites presented by Lin Hutaff’s Pinehurst Realty Group, Wings & Zings presented by Cooper Ford and Mountaire Farms, Q-School Grilling Class presented by Babson Real Estate Advisors, Music on Magnolia celebration concert presented by Travel Resorts of America and the Christopher Prieto Pitmaster Invitational presented by Lin Hutaff’s Pinehurst Realty Group — require a separate ticket.

There are a limited number of tickets assigned to each event and each of the events sold out during last year’s inaugural festival.

And yes, you can bundle. A purchase of the “Whole Hog” ticket option gets a patron access to all of the individually ticketed events over the 2022 Labor Day weekend, along with an exclusive “Meet the Masters” social opportunity with participating pitmasters following the Sept. 3 Grilling Class at the Pinehurst Brewery, along with a unique grillmaster swag bag. 

Food Network TV personality and Prime Barbecue restaurant founder Christopher Prieto will be the 2022 event’s headliner on Sept. 4, with pitmasters attending from Charlotte, Raleigh, the Crystal Coast and eastern North Carolina. The roster of pitmasters, which will be cooking whole hog BBQ, pork and beef ribs, beef brisket, poultry, and various sausages, includes the following:

Christopher Prieto, Prime Barbecue, Knightdale, N.C.

Adam Hughes, Old Colony Smokehouse, Edenton, N.C.

Sam Jones, Sam Jones BBQ, Raleigh, N.C.

Melanie Dunia, The Pit, Raleigh, N.C.

Brandon Shepard, Shepard Barbecue, Emerald Isle, N.C.

Lewis Donald, Sweet Lew’s BBQ, Charlotte, N.C.

Ron Simmons, Master Blend Family Farms, Kenansville, N.C.

Feature photos: Andy Forrester (left), Matt White, and Mark Brady.

Courtesy photos/Contributed.

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