For the 28th year, more than 70 volunteers will gather to bring the annual Waverly Community BBQ to life on Oct. 19 at the Waverly Community Center Pavilion. Members of the Waverly Community Club will bust out its prominent 400-gallon cast iron syrup kettle to cook up about 300 gallons of its much-anticipated Brunswick stew.
“It really is the best barbecue in the state,” said Kathy Overfelt, secretary of the Waverly Community Club.
Each year, the club sells homemade barbecue as its largest fundraiser of the year, and the proceeds go to community projects and to help needy families in Waverly.
“Waverly takes care of its own. We disburse funds for town needs, in addition to families’ necessities, food, appliances, etc.; we make sure people are taken care of,” said Overfelt.
Community Club member Becky Combs’ husband, Emory, created the original recipe. While he no longer does the cooking, the club has the overnight process down to a science.
“We start at 4 p.m. the day before the event, and all the meat is ground by hand. We also pre-cook about 50 Boston butts,” said Combs. “People come in shifts to stir the massive pot of stew all night. Four people at a time come for two-hour shifts.”
The barbecue sale usually attracts at least 500 in attendance, and food typically sells out that day. Anything leftover is frozen and usually sold within the next few weeks to community members as they request it.
“It all goes fast,” said Combs.
Along with the delectable food offerings, the annual event features door prizes, an auction and live Southern music and country favorites like Barnyard Bingo. An SEC tent also is set up on site to air whatever the big college football game of the day may be.
A Waverly local’s mother handmade a number of beautiful quilts, and each year one is raffled off at the Waverly BBQ. Even though she has passed, her son still donates a quilt to each year’s event for one lucky recipient to win.
“We also allow vendors on site free of charge. We just ask that there are no food vendors, since that’s how we make our money,” said Combs. “We urge more vendors to come out, and we ask each of them to donate an item to our auction.”
The Waverly Baptist Church hosts a baked goods sale for those craving something sweet.
“The event has varied from year to year, but it’s evolved and stayed fresh over time,” said Overfelt.
People are welcome to bring chairs and animals on leashes, but please no alcoholic beverages.
The Waverly Community Club has been active for nearly 50 years, and the Waverly BBQ began with cooking a small amount of food under the pecan tree in the Community Center’s front yard. The club meets once a month to discuss how to best assist with the needs in the Town of Waverly.
For information, contact the barbecue committee at 334-559-8663 or visit the Waverly Community Club Facebook page.