Smoke on the Mountain returns to Galax

Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 4:31 PM EDT
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GALAX, Va. (WDBJ) - The annual barbecue competition Smoke on the Mountain is back in Galax July 22-23.

“The town welcomes you here,” four-time World Champion Myron Mixon said. “They want you here and you’re cooking downtown, you’re cooking where everybody’s at.”

This competition isn’t your typical backyard barbecue. It attracts some of the biggest names in the industry, like Mixon.

“My schedule now, it’s not like it used to be,” he said. “For 15 years I did 45 contests a year. Now with restaurants and other barbecue businesses, I get to do four or five, and this is one of my four or five.”

The competition is divided into two categories judged by the Memphis Barbecue Network and the Kansas City Barbecue Society.

When it comes to judging, taste and texture are important, but how the meat looks can be the difference maker.

“The old saying about ‘you eat with your eyes,’ that’s very important in this contest to present a good blind box in the blind judging,” certified barbecue judge Tom Anderson said.

He says trying some of the barbecue at a competition, like Smoke on the Mountain, will change your pallet.

“If they ever eat barbecue at a barbecue contest, they will never go to a restaurant and order barbecue again,” he said. “It’s the best of the best.”

With more than 80 teams in Galax for the weekend, this competition is set to bring in thousands of people to experience all that Smoke on the Mountain has to offer.

“Something like this that brings this many people into Galax, it’s just such a boost for the City economy,” Galax City Councilman Martin Warr said.

It’s a boost for the city but also a lot of fun for all who participate.

“You get to smell the smoke, you get to taste the barbecue,” Warr said. “You get to get to experience just a great festival.”

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