An estimated 20,000 people, including a long line of hand-shaking, brochure-circulating political candidates, ventured into north Charlotte on Thursday for the 83rd annual Mallard Creek Barbecue.
As always, the attraction was the food – 14,236 pounds of pork barbecue, 2,700 gallons of stew and 2 tons of slaw.
Former UNC system President C.D. Spangler, 80, was there, partaking in the local October tradition for maybe the 45th time – or even the 50th.
“Forty years ago, I was in that line, running for (Charlotte-Mecklenburg) school board,” Spangler said. “But the No. 1 reason people come is for the good barbecue.”
With Election Day only a week and a half away, the event on the grounds of Mallard Creek Presbyterian Church’s Community House drew candidates for everything from Congress to register of deeds.
“I come here every year – it’s one of the truest pieces of Americana,” said N.C. Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, the first politician in the greeting line.
The barbecue caused traffic delays but also brought in big money for the church’s mission efforts and building fund.