Fifth annual E.E. Waddell Center Grill-Off brings community together

Published 4:05 pm Monday, June 3, 2024

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Aficionados of barbecue gathered on Saturday at the ballfield next to the E.E. Waddell Center in Albemarle to enjoy the fifth annual Grill Off.

DJ Lyfe provided the music as attendees supported the Friends of the E.E. Waddell Center by purchasing $15 tickets for unlimited samples of barbecued chicken, Boston butt, ribs and all the fixings. Desserts for attendees included fried Oreos and homemade banana pudding.

One of the event’s more unusual items included “armadillo eggs,” which have a center of jalapeno pepper and cheese surrounded by sausage and bacon, made by BBL Backyard BBQ. BBL finished second in the Boston butt, chicken and ribs in the competition.

Tommy Light of BBL Backyard BBQ fills a plate with armadillo eggs, made of jalapeno pepper and cheese wrapped in sausage and bacon. (Photos by CHARLES CURCIO/staff)

First place for Boston butt, chicken and ribs went to the Q & Stew team of Doug, Larry and Phillip Burgess and Braden Smith.

The people’s choice award went to Tell It All, headed by Waddell Center director Billy McRae.

Albemarle Mayor Ronnie Michael and city council members Benton Dry and Dexter Townsend were among the dignitaries in attendance for the event.

“Today has been a successful day and we all had a win-win situation with this year,” McRae said. “More grillers came out from all over North and South Carolina…it’s one of those things where we bridge the cap with the community. They enjoy this and look forward to it each year.”

McRae said people at the Grill Off support other competitions, and he and others attend those as well.

The E.E. Waddell Center director said the event is important to the center because proceeds will make “improvements to the center which are needed. They will find out what they need to do.”

McRae said one project the Friends of the Center are interested in doing is a mural which would reflect this history of the building.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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