EWING, Va. — Wilderness Road State Park is hosting their annual Community Appreciation Day and Back to School Bash on Aug. 8 from 2-7 p.m. A hotdog lunch kicks off the event at noon. Bounce houses and historical programming highlight this event which offers fun for all ages.
The Community Appreciation Day and Back to School Bash offers guests activities such as: Bounce houses, kids’ train rides, emergency vehicles, historical programming at Martin’s Station, a hot dog lunch and a Backyard BBQ Battle all for half the normal parking fee at just $2 per vehicle so everyone can come out and enjoy their state park.
The park has ordered several inflatable bounce houses and obstacle courses to keep the kids busy and entertained throughout the day. Train rides and emergency vehicles, such as the park’s own police trucks, and more will provide fun for children and adults alike.
Those interested in history will be in for a treat as the folks at Martin’s Station will perform various 18th century demonstrations throughout the day, as well as a special Split and Hued program at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The evening wraps up with a special evening program, The Beloved Woman, which showcases the important role women played on the early frontier and how they helped establish the gateway to the west. Perhaps the most influential woman of the Cherokee people, Nancy Ward saves her friend, Lydia Bean, from an early demise at the hands of the Cherokee. This program begins at 7 p.m.
Following the success from last year’s Chili Cookoff, the park will be conducting their first ever Backyard BBQ Battle during the event.
Teams, or individuals, must prepare their backyard barbecue creation onsite. The item entered for judging is at the discretion of the team or individual. “Each person should present their best barbecue item for judging,” stated Mike Brindle, who is overseeing the contest. “If you think your grilled chicken breast can beat out a hamburger, steak, hotdog or pulled pork, then by all means enter it. Whatever you grill the best, that’s what I would present.”
The item must be cooked and presented for judging by 5 p.m. Setup and cooking may begin as early as 9 a.m. The park will provide the electricity, but persons or teams must provide their own extension cords, ingredients and cooking utensils.
Each team’s barbecued item will be judged by a panel of three, two park representatives as well as a third designated judge. A cash prize will be awarded to the winning team, along with the title, Wilderness Road Backyard BBQ Battle champion.
A second cash prize will be awarded to the People’s Choice winning team. This added twist to the BBQ Battle allows park visitors to pay $1 to sample each team’s item and cast one vote for their favorite.
There is a $10 entry fee per team, or individual, and they will be permitted to offer one item for judging per $10 entry fee. Deadline registration is 9 a.m. the morning of the event.
For more information, or to register your team for the Backyard BBQ Battle, please contact the park office at 276-445-3065 or visit the Friends of Wilderness Road State Park official website: www.friendsofwildernessroad.org.
Wilderness Road State Park is open 8 a.m. to dusk each day. The park office and visitor center is open daily 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Historic Martin’s Station is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but closed on Tuesdays.
For more information on Virginia’s award-winning state parks call toll-free 1-800-933-PARK (7275) or visit www.virginiastateparks.gov. The award-winning Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.