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Wild West Rolls into Lawrenceville with the 9th Annual Sip & Swine BBQ Festival

Like a scene from the Wild West, the parking lot that surrounds Coolray Field will soon be filled with cowboys, townspeople, traveling musicians, artisans selling their wares, beer merchants, axe throwers, gem miners, a mechanical bull, and more. At the heart of the 9th Annual Sip & Swine BBQ Festival, a shootout between challenging meat-slingers will determine who will achieve the coveted honor of first place. Set for Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2, 100% of the proceeds from the two-day Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS)-sanctioned event will benefit Home of Hope at Gwinnett Children’s Shelter – a local charity devoted to the well-being of homeless children, their young mothers, and teens aging out of the foster care system. Hendrick Automotive Group is the returning Grand Champion Sponsor for the 2024 Sip & Swine Festival. Its 96 locations – including nine dealerships in Georgia – represent 25 automotive brands in 13 states.

“We launched this event in 2016 and have witnessed its phenomenal growth each subsequent year,” said Jim Lloyd, former Chairman of the Board of Directors at Home of Hope, organizer of the Sip & Swine BBQ Festival, and CEO of Lawrenceville-based InsuranceHub Leavitt Agency. “This year will feature the talents of 110 competition teams representing a mix of both Backyard and Pro challengers from all over the country. Our popular KidQ competition returns for the 5th year – as aspiring chefs aged 6-15 show off their culinary skills. We also have 120 food and craft vendors lined up – with a waitlist of 200 more vying for a spot at the event. And we are proud to welcome four great bands to our stage to entertain guests on Saturday afternoon. In step with the event’s growth, so follows the increase in attendees and funds raised on behalf of Home of Hope. I can’t imagine a better match between a worthy cause and a community-focused event. Love, music, and the heavenly aroma from dozens of smokers will fill the air at Coolray Field. Whether you attend every year or have never been to the Sip & Swine BBQ Festival, you won’t want to miss this year’s event.”

Through its last eight events combined, the Sip & Swine BBQ Festival has raised $850k for the residential care facility that has endeavored to end the cycle of homelessness two generations at a time. Proceeds from competition fees, vendors fees, raffle ticket sales, and the purchase of People’s Choice Taster Kits support Home of Hope’s mission to strengthen children, youth, and families in crisis by providing a broad array of counseling and supportive services in a safe and nurturing environment. People’s Choice Taster Kits can be purchased for just $12 each in the People’s Choice Tent on Saturday, March 2. Between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., People’s Choice participants will get to sample from nine randomly selected competitors and share their pick for their personal favorite.


To kick off the event, 80 craft and 40 food vendors will sell their goods as 110 BBQ competition teams set up from 3 to 9 p.m. on Friday, March 1.

Attendees on both days will enjoy FREE PARKING and FREE ADMISSION.

2024 Sip & Swine BBQ Festival Event Schedule on March 2nd:

  • 10 AM – Event opens to the public – including food, beer, and craft vendors; Kids Zone with face painting, gem mining, teddy bear stuffing, bounce house, and more; activities like caricatures, axe throwing, and mechanical bull riding; and a rockin’ lineup of musicians.
  • 11 AM-12:15 PM – The Jonathan Ingram Band performs
  • 11:30 AM-1:30 PM – People’s Choice BBQ Tasting
  • 12:30-1:45 PM – The Midland Station Band performs
  • 2-3:15 PM – Under The Wheel performs
  • 3:30-5 PM – Dock Rock Radio performs
  • 5 PM – BBQ awards ceremony
  • 6 PM – Event ends

“Our partnership with Jim and Cindy Lloyd and the Sip & Swine BBQ Festival these past nine years has been a complete joy,” said Maureen Kornowa, CEO of Home of Hope at Gwinnett Children’s Shelter. “It is the community involvement and commitment to help Home of Hope raise funds and awareness for suburban poverty that make this festival a win-win for all involved. We look forward to seeing everyone in March!”

Coolray Field is located at 2500 Buford Drive in Lawrenceville. For additional information about the event or to sign on as a sponsor or volunteer, please visit www.sipandswine.com.

Several spots remain for the KidsQ competition for a $25 entry fee.

To learn more about Home of Hope at Gwinnett Children’s Shelter or make a direct donation online, please visit www.homeofhopegcs.org.

About Home of Hope at Gwinnett Children’s Shelter: Focused on ending homelessness two generations at a time, Home of Hope at Gwinnett Children’s Shelter is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and a residential care facility that provides services for homeless infants and children up to 17 years of age along with their young mothers. Home of Hope also offers care and services for homeless girls aging out of the foster care system at 18 years of age. It provides customized “Life Plans” that are designed around the physical, emotional and educational needs of the children it serves, while helping their mothers develop a plan of action to get back on their feet. Not wishing to serve simply as a place of refuge, Home of Hope at Gwinnett Children’s Shelter is the “NEXT STEP” towards independence. It takes its guests from homelessness, to hopeful, to a home of their own. To learn more about Home of Hope at Gwinnett Children’s Shelter, visit www.homeofhopegcs.org.