CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — The 92nd Annual Mallard Creek Presbyterian Church BBQ opened to a long line of cars, waiting for a plate Thursday morning.
Workers made nearly 9,000 pounds of pork, more than 2,000 gallons of Brunswick stew, and a literal ton of coleslaw. Cooks believe they may sell out by 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. Thursday.
Hundreds of visitors line up for hours to get an order. Church members said they know their food is worth the wait, but that’s not what turned this into a 92-year-old tradition.
“We’ve got almost 100-year-old recipes and we try to keep those as consistent as possible,” volunteer Rusty Wallace said. “At the end of the day, it’s all about the people coming out, standing, working sweating, shoulder to shoulder, for days.”
The event is drive-thru or carry-out only. Church leaders said they did not have enough volunteers to staff a sit-down meal. They estimated they had more than 800 people sitting and eating at one time in 2019.
Many of the politicians who typically use the event as a campaign stop did not attend, as they get less time with potential voters. The event usually gets about 20 candidates each year, from city council candidates to presidential hopefuls.
Organizers hope to bring back the sit-down meal by next year.
The feast began in 1929 to raise money for the church’s new Sunday School classrooms. In the decades since, they’ve raised millions of dollars for the church’s other missions.