Wednesday, April 2, 2008

First Annual South Carolina Old 96 District Campground Cookoff

Competitors from around the Southeast are invited to gather around the campfire for the first annual South Carolina Old 96 District Campground Cookoff to be held Sept. 19-21, 2008 at the Calhoun Falls State Recreation Area on Lake Russell.

The Old 96 District Tourism Commission, which markets the South Carolina counties of Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens and McCormick, has developed the event with support from the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism.

The winners will be crowned by three nationally known celebrity judges – Rick Browne from “Barbecue America” on PBS; Dotty Griffith, the former dining and food editor for 30 years at the Dallas Morning News, and Charles Mattocks, “The Poor Chef” seen on NBC affiliates and purveyor of spices in Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart stores.

Interested amateurs can enter one of three categories: appetizer, entrée or dessert. Each dish must be prepared from scratch and cooked over a campfire of charcoal or wood. Cash prizes of $500, $300 and $200 and other in-kind donations from companies such as Camping World and Dodge Manufacturing will be awarded for first- through third-place winners. Applications are available online at and must be received by Aug. 15, 2008.

A minimum two-night stay at the Calhoun Falls State Recreation Area campsite is required for the entrants, and there will be many activities for the entrants, family and friends to attend, including a “ring of fire,” complimentary barbecue for the contestants, bluegrass band, displays from sponsors, and cooking demonstrations by the celebrity judges. Contestants must be 18 years of age or older and there can no more than three members to a cookoff team.

The award-winning recipes will be compiled into a cookbook available after the Campground Cookoff at the Calhoun Falls State Recreation Area and through the Old 96 District Tourism Commission Web site at

To enter and view general rules visit or call toll-free at 1-866-354-0003. Reservations at Calhoun Falls State Recreation Area can be made by calling (864) 447-8267.

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