Quincyfest, Community Fiesta draw crowds by the hundreds

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By Alice Du Pont

Thousands attended this year's Community Fiesta and Quincyfest 2009 Friday night and Saturday.

On Friday night, nearly 1,000 people attended the feista that featured music, dancing and international foods.

"I love this. I want to try everything," said Leo Sam, who came from Tallahassee after he heard a television commercial earlier in the week.

Priscilla Vidal, who organized the fiesta for the first time, said she thought everything went well.

"People are telling me that they like the music, the entertainment and the food," she said.

The fiesta was hardly over before barbecue teams began arriving on the square. First to arrive was Hops from Williston. They had to come early, they said, because it takes them at least 12 hours to smoke their Boston butts for the pulled pork.

Throughout the night teams pulled into their assigned slots and began stoking fires. By sunrise, the air downtown was thick with smoke and the smell of meat grilling.

"I haven't gotten any sleep. I was prepping my meat last night and got here at this morning about 3. I might have come to early next year. I think I'll wait until about 5 because I'm not entering the cook-offs," said Terrance Milton of M & M Barbecue.

Others started bragging about their barbecue hours before the first entries were turned in at the judges’ station.

When the judging was over and the winners were announced, all of the participants said they were happy with the competition, even if they didn't win and announced they would be back next year.

"I'll be back next year. You run a good, fair competition. We've been coming for 3 years and we always do well. We'll be back in 2010," said Sylvester English from the Kinfolks team. This year the team didn't take home any trophies or prize money.

The winners in the pulled pork category were: first place, Agape; second place, Nelson Brothers; third place, Mack's BBQ; fourth place, Smokin Q; and fifth place, Hops.

Rib category winners were: first place, Nelson Brothers; second place, Hops; third place, Agape; fourth place, Smokin Q; and fifth place, Acousti.

Chicken category winners were: first place, Heatin' n Beatin'; second place, Mack's BBQ; third place, Nelson Brothers; fourth place, Agape; and fifth place, The Real Cook.

Rep. Alan Williams (D-Quincy) came in time to hear the blues of Harmonica Shah of Detroit and "Biscuit" Miller and the Mix. He said with the extension of the legislative session and graduations he wasn't able to stay all day as he has in the past.

"This is one of the best events in the area and even if had to come late, I wasn't going to miss it," he said.