news-category: Homecoming

Competition at Gardner-Webb Homecoming Heats up with Bo’s Battle ‘QUE

Bo's Battle 'QUE logo

Barbecue Cookoff Added to Weekend Celebration will Fund Alumni-Sponsored Scholarship

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—During this year’s homecoming festivities on Oct. 27-29, the competition will be on fire. Amateur pitmasters—each touting their own secret recipe—will have a chance to heat up the smoker and win the first Bo’s Battle ’QUE at Gardner-Webb University.  

Leah Clevenger

Leah Clevenger, director of Alumni Relations, noted that this new event is an ideal addition to GWU’s Homecoming lineup. “Alumni Relations works hard to preserve our university traditions, but we are also interested in creating traditions that our alumni and friends can help us build and grow for years to come,” she observed. “BBQ smokers, team spirit, decked out tents, and friendly competition will go perfectly with the celebration of Homecoming. What makes Bo’s Battle ‘QUE even better is that all proceeds from this event will help us establish an alumni-sponsored scholarship for students. Not only will we be creating a new tradition together, but we will also be creating a scholarship.”  

The event will be held on the Practice Soccer Field across from Spangler Stadium. Teams will check in on Friday, Oct. 27, at 3 p.m. The cooks’ meeting and distribution of two pork butts per team will be at 5:15 p.m., and cooking begins at 6 p.m.  

On Saturday, Oct. 28, spectators will have an opportunity to participate in the People’s Choice portion of the competition. “BBQ teams will be able to compete in People’s Choice if their pork butts reach the official temp by 11:15 a.m.,” Clevenger explained. “Alumni and friends will be able to walk by the teams’ tents and cast their votes for best meat and best sauce. The teams with the most votes from the people will take home the trophies. All winners will be announced at the Homecoming football game.”  

Bo’s Battle ’QUE Schedule

Friday, Oct. 27

  • 3 p.m. – Team Check-in begins. Team space will not be assigned. First come, first served.
  • 5:15 p.m. – Cooks’ meeting and distribution of 2 pork butts per team.
  • 6 p.m. – Cooking may begin.

Saturday, October 28

  • 11:15 a.m. – Temp check, if competitors have reached temp, they may compete in People’s Choice.
  • 11:30 a.m. – People’s Choice begins.
  • 12:30 p.m. – Turn-In Time, People’s Choice Ends.
  • 3 p.m. – Teams will be recognized on the field at halftime of Homecoming game and winner will be announced.

The cookoff will follow the backyard barbecue competition rules of the Kansas City Barbecue Society. Each team will be allotted a 20’x’25 space on grassy field across from Spangler Stadium. Each team must provide their own shelter, if desired. Tent must be fireproof and fire extinguisher must be on hand. Teams will be provided two pork butts. Pork butts must be cooked in an above ground cooker with use of wood or charcoal. Propane may not be used.  

The official judges will not be revealed until all teams gather for the cooks’ meeting. They will be from GWU and the surrounding community.  

Registration is $150, which includes two pork butts, four Homecoming football game tickets, and one parking pass. Register here.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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