“When I was young my dad used to cook for us in the backyard,” Barrentine said as his father pulled aluminum foil-covered racks of ribs from the smoker.
Barrentine makes his own smokers. He said he didn’t like the indirect smoking style of the ones he bought, so he made his own that pushes the smoke directly on the meat.
“We’ve won a lot of awards and it seems to work good,” Barrentine said.
Thirty-three professional teams and 21 backyard teams competed at Ridge Ferry Park on Saturday. The local Runnin’ Wild Cookin’ Crew, including Harry Pierce and the Burkhalter family, was the overall winner in the backyard division and also won the People’s Choice award. The Tar Heel Smokers of North Carolina were the overall winners in the professional division.
While barbecue was the big draw for the event, which raises money for Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation Authority to send kids to summer camp, there were plenty of other non-hickory flavored activities.
There was a petting zoo, swing ride, inflatable slide and crafts, along with a Battle of the Bands competition. After a performance by the Georgia Blues Brothers, local musicians competed for People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice.
PerFeKt Peace of Calhoun won People’s Choice and the opportunity to open for KISS Army on May 21 at the DeSoto Theatre. Mr. Synyster of Rome won Judge’s Choice and a chance to perform at the local July 4 celebration. Both won music videos to be produced by the RN-T.com new media department, said Matt Davis, Roman Roast committee member.
Roman Roast also included the Armuchee Ruritan Club spring car show.
Chargers, GTOs, Corvettes and their admirers filled a grassy space next to the barbecue festivities. Al Squires and his wife Willene brought their 1932 Ford roadster highboy to show off.
“I like to support the local things and I feel good supporting the Ruritan because you’re supporting something worthwhile,” Squires said.
The Ruritan show raised money for scholarships the organization gives to Armuchee students. A portion of the proceeds also went to the Roman Roast fundraiser.
Squires said he and his wife started doing car shows after her son bought them the Ford.
“It’s the kind of car I would have driven when I was a teenager if I had the money,” Squires said.