Gordonsville -- Just outside of quiet, peaceful Gordonsville is “the greatest pork fest on earth:” Porkapolooza.
“It's really fun” says Pary, who is attending Porkapolooza for her second year. “They have live music which is really great. All the food is awesome.”
Dan and Lindsey echo Pary’s sentiment, saying “I mean, what's not to love? It's all the pork you can eat.”
But Porkapolooza is more than a pork-a-polooza.
“We came up with Porkapolooza as a way to thank the people who have been so supportive to us,” says Craig Hartman, Chef and owner of the BBQ Exchange. After our first year opening all the way out here in Gordonsville, we decided to start this festival that we would do pretty much for cost—that it would be the craziest pork eating festival ever. And it's just kind of taken a life of its own.”
Craig and his team at the BBQ Exchange have been cooking up a storm with just about every barbecue dish imaginable.
Hartman gave a rundown of what they are serving: “Well, we are cooking ten hogs today from Autumn Olive Farms over in the Valley. They are a Virginia registered Berkshire breed. We have chicken that we are frying in lard. We have Hoping John with country bacon. We have braised cabbage with pork belly. We have cheesy grits with sausage. I mean the list goes on and on. It's just a fun time.”
Craig estimates between 1,500 and 2,500 people attend the event each day. It's so crowded, I can barely do my job!
Porkapolooza is actually so popular that Craig had to get tables in the middle of the event just so that everybody could sit down.
“It's great. It’s unbelievable. I'm just so happy,” says Craig about the support he gets from his customers.
There was a slight hiccup. The wind did blow over one of the tents in the back, but Craig and his team were on the scene and had things under control in a matter of minutes.
BBQ Exchange is hosting its second day of Porkapolooza on Sunday February 15. The event is just $15.00/person for all-you-can-eat barbecue, and it runs from Noon to 7PM.