Update: “The Story of BBQ in NC” Exhibit at PLJCS is Canceled, Rescheduling Underway

Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield logo
Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield logo

UPDATE March 13, 2020:

The exhibit will not be opening March 18 as planned. The Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield is in the process of cancelling library events through the rest of March and part of April. This exhibit may be opened at a later date in 2020.

For additional information, call 919.934.8146, option 3, or visit PLJCS online at www.pljcs.org.  Follow www.facebook.com/pljcs on Facebook for any updates.



Original announcement included below:

The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) has created a traveling exhibit that examines the history of barbecue and its continuing place in North Carolina culture.  From its early history to modern day “East versus West” style discussions, barbecue is alive and well in North Carolina.  The exhibit, The Story of BBQ in NC, will be on display at the Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield (PLJCS) from March 18 to May 26, 2020.

Pirates on Hispaniola barbecued pigs and cattle left behind by the Spanish in the 1500s.  Explorer John Lawson was served “barbakued” venison, fish, and peaches by the Santee Indians.  Enslaved men working in pits produced barbecue in the South.  Barbecue remains singularly popular today across the state.

Tall illustrated fabric panels comprise the traveling exhibit highlighting the social importance, cultural adaptations, methods of preparation, dessert options, and the science behind barbecue.  In addition to the panels, the exhibit includes display materials, t-shirts, and sauces from various pits across the state, plus:

  • kids-play-kitchen with plates
  • replica eastern-style open barbecue pit with replica pig
  • one 6-foot table with samples of BBQ sauce from around NC
  • clothesline with t-shirts from BBQ restaurants from around NC
  • interactive computer kiosk with exhibit related photos and videos
  • free-standing tripod with either “Pig Cut Poster” or “The Great N.C. BBQ Map”

The library plans to hand out copies of the “JoCo BBQ Trail” map and promote local restaurants.

There is no fee to see this exhibit, which was created with financial support from the NC Pork Council. Stop by and check it out at the Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield, located at 305 E Market Street, Smithfield, NC.

Library hours are:

  • Monday 9am – 8pm
  • Tuesday 9am – 5:30pm
  • Wednesday 9am – 5:30pm
  • Thursday 9am – 8pm
  • Friday 9am – 5:30pm
  • Saturday 9am – 5pm
  • Sunday Closed

For additional information, call 919.934.8146, option 3. Visit PLJCS online at www.pljcs.org.


Source: Katie Barbour, Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield 


Ed. Note: Originally published March 1, 2020. Updated March 13 with cancellation notice.

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