Two dozen teams toiled and boiled their way through as many ways to cook chicken bog as they could offer Sunday, Jan. 6, in the parking lot of Uncle Tito’s in Murrells Inlet, but in the end, only one team went home with the first-place check.
The Lords of Bogtown walked away with the $300 prize, slipping past Bad-Eyes Bog and Juicy’s Barbecue for the win.
But the real prize went to the Surf Dreams Foundation —sponsor of the Murrells Inlet Chicken Bog Challenge. The foundation raises money to help children learn the sport of surfing. This was the third year the challenge has been held.
“Our goal is to get kids onto surfboards and into the water without the financial burden,” said Phil Jackson, who founded the nonprofit foundation in 2014.
The organization sponsors teams and clinics throughout the season for youngsters who might otherwise not be able to take advantage of the sport. The foundation provides surfboards, wet suits and safety gear for the kids while promoting the sport.
At the challenge, Surfboards – the prizes in special drawings – abounded with the variety of chicken bogs. The boards and the bogs came in all shapes and sizes, including bogs with an oriental flavor, some offered by well-known chefs in the area, and others provided for tasting by kitchen novices.
Although the event featured chicken bog — a conglomeration of rice, spices, sausage and chicken — that didn’t stop people from cooking ribs, barbecue and other items.
There was face painting for kids, and a DJ kept the music flowing.
Although the event, which started at noon, was billed to end at 4 p.m., by 3:15 p.m. many of the entrants were running out of food as hundreds of people filled the parking lot along Highway 17 Business.
The event was originally planned for December, but was pushed back due to weather. The delay worked out, as temperatures in the mid-60s and sunny skies made for a near-perfect day.
“We’ll definitely be back,” promised one woman, as she tried to lasso three children, a dog and two samples of chicken bog. “It’s all for a good cause.”