Hickory – The 7th Annual Butts and Beans BBQ Challenge, sponsored by VonDrehle Corporation, Frye Regional Medical Center, Oakwood Homes and Catawba Valley Medical Center, is a fundraising event with proceeds going to the Catawba County EMS Hardship Fund, Inc. This event will be held on September 22nd and 23rd at the Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds, located at 1 American Legion Ave., Newton, NC 28658.

We have many great auction items and are looking for more. If you would like to make a donation for the auction on September 22nd, please call Tommy Poovey at 828-461-2203 and he will arrange pick-up of items or cash/check. You can also mail a donation to Catawba County EMS Hardship Fund, Inc., PO Box 389,Bbutts and beans Newton, NC 28658. All donations are tax deductible.

Gates open at 5pm on Friday, September 22nd and will feature a steak dinner with live bluegrass music by the Sigmon Stringers, 6 – 7:30pm. Tickets are $30 for two people, advance sales only. Please call 828-466-7202 to get yours today! The evening will be highlighted by a public auction at 7:30pm. Please join us for an opportunity to bid on the fantastic items that have been donated to support our local EMS Hardship Fund.

Gates open at 9am on Saturday, September 23. Admission is $5, kids 10 and under are admitted for free. This day is full of special events including gun raffles all day, Firefighters Challenge, BBQ Tasting, Fire Truck Pull, a Challenge Course for kids sponsored by the Newton Fire Department, a Smoke House to teach children what to do at home in the event of a fire, and more! Our BBQ Competition is a State Championship event, is a KCBS sanctioned competition, and scored by Old North State Barbecue Series. To enter the competition go to www.butttsandbeans.com or call 828-455-8914. Over $11,000 in cash and prizes for BBQ teams! The BBQ tasting will be held at 11am. Last year’s event featured 40 teams from across the country and we are expecting more this year. Cloninger Ford is sponsoring a Taster’s Choice Tent, stop by for free BBQ samples and check out their featured inventory.

We are currently looking for more teams to join the Firefighters Challenge & Fire Truck Pull. You do not have to be a firefighter to participate in the Fire Truck Pull. These events and divisions are open for early registration through Thursday, September 21st at 11:59 pm by going to http://runtimeraces.com, call 828-466-7202, or visit the Facebook page for Butts and Beans Challenge. Late registration will be open Saturday, September 23rd from 8:45 am to 9:45 am for the Firefighter Challenge, and 12:45 pm to 1:45 pm for the Fire Truck Pull.

The Firefighters Challenge will be held at 10am and is open to TEAMS for $40 per team, and INDIVIDUALS for $10. This division will include teams of 4, including 1 team captain for the team agility. Agility competitions will consist of 5 obstacles. Each member will perform the course in a relay type style for team event. The individual competition will run through it just once. Each member will be in fire turnout gear, including boots, jacket, pants and helmet. Spare gear will be available for those who do not have any.

The Fire Truck Pull will be held at 2pm. The entry fee is $50 per team and open to LEO, EMS, FIRE, RESCUE, MILITARY, CO-ED / CO-AGENCY, and GENERAL PUBLIC teams. The goal is to pull the truck 25 feet. Fire Truck Pull may have up to 10 members. No turn out gear required unless desired. Prize for best dressed team in fire truck pull, 1st, 2nd & 3rd in each category and of course BRAGGING RIGHTS! Best time wins!!! Awards will include, but not limited to a Cairns Leather Helmet, Streamlight Helmet Flashlights, Streamlight Survivor Lights, and more to be announced!

2017 Butts and Beans BBQ Competition is also sponsored by Duke Energy, Emergency L & A Equipment, Kia Paramount, James Oxygen, LaQuinta Inns & Suites, Price Well Drilling, Conover Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Fulbright Pest Control, Inc., ASR Graphics, Trinity Ridge, Cloninger Ford of Hickory, Carolina Rehab Center of Burke, Medical Facilities of NC, Lagunas Printing House, Viewmont Urology Clinic and Kicks 103.3.

The Catawba County EMS Hardship Fund is a non-profit corporation established to provide emergency assistance to EMS personnel who work for Catawba County. We look forward to seeing everyone at our 7th annual fundraising event!