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    Posted November 19, 2013 by
    Conway, South Carolina

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    Why Are These New Reality Stars Smokin' in Carolina?


    Here's a sneak peak at a new television show that proves to be a potential breath of fresh air in the world of reality tv. Or in this case, the alluring smell of Hickory and fruit wood smoke.
    The show, “Holy Smokers,” which Discovery Channel will air in Spring 2014 will tour barbecues that are hosted as church fund raisers, unite the teams, and show the public the ins and outs of what‘s becoming big biz, the perfect recipe for barbecue. And perhaps the perfect fund raiser.
    The show is part of the “Destination America” series, and the pilot for “Holy Smokers” was shot in Conway, South Carolina a little town near Myrtle Beach where Myrtle Manor and another new reality show soon to air that is likened to Jersey Shore have also been filmed.
    This was the 9th year for the St. Nicholas BBQ Fest, but this year it garnered national attention when NY based, Loud TV announced they would film the Pilot for their new show during the annual festival.
    St. Pauls considers the festival an important fund raiser for it’s outreach program that reaches out and into the community to help the less fortunate.
    Over 100 vendors brought their hand crafted wares and food, and children’s activities and river cruises drew a large crowd as the sun finally came out and turned Saturday into the prefect day for filming a festival with warm and sunny weather in the low 80’s.
    The kickoff for the event began Thursday November 14 in the old Peanut Warehouse as the Taste of Conway, with the historic Wacamaw Riverfront providing a picturesque backdrop.
    This particular event  was also the finality for the South Carolina Barbecue Association’s 2013 competition to discover the best in the state, so there was a lot of excitement and some very good smells in the cozy and historic little city on Saturday.
    If you didn’t go to bed hungry for barbecue Friday night in Conway, you woke up craving it for breakfast Saturday morning as competitors snatched bits of sleep in between carefully smoking the meat to it‘s delicious culmination, and the rain that finally fell on all.
    To heat things up even more, this year's event was titled, "The War Between the States" and North Carolina competed against South Carolina, where barbecue isn't just a staple, it's an art. Pit masters put their best butt forward,  to be judged on: appearance, aroma, texture/tenderness, taste, and overall impression-butts to determine their total scores, and ultimate standing in the national competition.
    Dedicated competitors drove from all over North and South Carolina and arrived in Conway beginning Friday morning to grab the best spot, the limited opportunities for electricity, and the coveted trophies that would garner them the number one spot for 2013.
    Despite the sudden cool spell that hit the area Thursday and Friday, everyone was in good spirits and many visited the others‘ booths, wishing good luck to each other, while some rested up for the long night of smoking ahead. Even the dreary weather threatening a downpour at any minute couldn’t extinguish their enthusiasm.
    Some sported brightly colored, hi tech and expensive equipment adorned with intimidating trophies, and brought a large team. Others like “Army Q,” competed with a smoker they hand crafted from an old discarded oil burner, and were a dedicated but small father and son team of two.
    Not only did teams offer the required $250 church donation/ entrance fee to the competition, the health department required adherence to strict rules and no one was exempt from cleaning up before, during and after. Most competitors also brought their families and sporadically slept in small tents as the meat smoked and tenderized next to them all night in their 25’x25’ little space.
    Starting early in the day, the reality show would-be stars split wood, hand assembled their cinder block and iron grate pit, and then for hours, tenaciously fanned the fire and basted the meat to bring it to it’s delicious fruition. All the while, the crew filmed and occasionally spruced up participants for their tv debuts.
    The new show appears to be headed to success with something for everyone, not only those in the fund raising fields. A little competitive drama will soothe the reality seekers’ souls and the shows’ dedicated q’ers who strive to heat things up should inspire a few wannabes or bored-with-lifers to finally take a plunge and get smokin’.

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