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‘We need the barbecue’: Mallard Creek Church BBQ returns after pandemic hiatus

WSOC Charlotte 10/27/2022 Joe Bruno

A longtime tradition made a triumphant return in north Charlotte on Thursday.

The annual Mallard Creek Presbyterian Church Barbecue returned for its 91st edition after a three-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

”I think we need the barbecue more than the barbecue needs us,” said Perry Deaton, a volunteer at the event for more than 40 years. “You get to see people you haven’t seen in three years.”

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The event is traditionally known for serving up pork with a side of politics. Volunteers worked for weeks to prepare for the festivities.

Organizers expected to cook 7,500 pounds of pork barbecue, prepare 1,450 gallons of Brunswick stew and shred one ton of coleslaw.

© Provided by WSOC Charlotte

One woman told Channel 9 she traveled from Lincoln County, for the chance to wait in line for stew, barbecue and coleslaw.

”It’s just the best, the best there is. I love Brunswick stew, but nothing is like theirs,” Ashley Travis said. “It’s a good cause, so I’ll always support.”

This year, the fundraiser took a new form — drive-up or carry out — which may have limited the number of politicians at Thursday’s event. Less than a half-dozen candidates showed up, but those that did hoped it will be to their advantage on Election Day.

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”This is my first time running for any office, so any opportunity I get to interface, listen to thousands of people in a couple of hours, that’s an opportunity I am going to take,” said Ross Monks, a Republican candidate for the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners in District 1.

Despite the new format, people still came hungry and traffic backed up onto Mallard Creek Road for hours.

Food was sold out by 3 p.m. and the Brunswick stew and ‘slaw went well before that.

For those who didn’t get a bite this fall, you’ll have to wait until the fourth Thursday of October 2023 for the Mallard Creek Church Barbecue to return.

All funds raised from the annual event will support the church.

(WATCH BELOW: Mallard Creek BBQ kicks off with new drive-thru, carry-out format)

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