The air began to fill with smoke and the smell of charcoal, oak, cedar and apple wood at 7:30 a.m. on the Saturday before Father’s Day in the parking lot of the Magnolia Project on Pearl Street., as seven fathers and their assistants fired up their grills to begin the first annual “Fatherhood Program Barbecue Competition.” The dads are all enrolled into the Responsible Fatherhood Initiative but on June 18th, they were grill masters elite.
While each of them may have different reasons for participating in the program, they all have the same goal: to better their relationship with their children and eradicate infant mortality in Northeast Florida. Fathers play a critical role in the development of their children — the event was held to recognize the impact of dads on positive and healthy infant and child development on Father’s Day weekend.
While the fathers were grilling, their families and other attendees enjoyed the vendors, raffles, games for the kids, bounce house, music and other promotional & educational materials. As the crowd began to get anxious, six judges sat down at the judging tables.
Grevin Payton, father of one daughter, won the overall highest prize in all three barbecue categories. The judges enjoyed his unique flavors and cooking techniques as the best all around.
First place winners were: Marvin McCoy/Claude Ross Jr; Grevin Payton/John Catlin and Billy Stanley/Blake Beasley. Second place winners were: Charles Lockland and Glen Taylor. Third place winners were: Billy Stanley/Blake Beasley, Marvin McCoy/Claude Ross, Jr and Bernard Charles/Ivan Taylor
The barbecue provided a family-friendly way to celebrate Father’s Day, bring together families and enjoy good food!