The Brunswick Stew Masters Association sponsored the Brunswick Stew Cook-off awarding $2,000 in prizes and signature paddles. The 2021 winners are: Kevin Pair, left, first place, from Brunswick County; Dylan Pair, second place, from Brunswick County; Mac Pennell, third place, from Blackstone, and Clark Bennett – fourth place, from Blackstone.

LAWRENCEVILLE – Despite the rain the 24th Annual Taste of Brunswick Festival was held on Saturday, at the Brunswick County Airport.

Donut lovers came early to purchase Mrs. Yoder’s Donuts and Brunswick Stew lovers came later in the morning to enjoy our famous culinary creation. Many people think stew is best right out of the huge black pot. The Brunswick Stew Masters Association sponsored the Brunswick Stew Cook-off awarding $2,000 in prizes and signature paddles. The 2021 winners are: Kevin Pair – first place, Dylan Pair – second place, Mac Pennell – third place and Clark Bennett – fourth place.

Because of the rain the opening ceremony was held under the tent set up for the Silver Eagle Band using its microphone. The Brunswick High School JROTC presented the colors. Lezlie Green beautifully sang the national anthem. Pastor Kimberly Barker-Brugman, Lawrenceville United Methodist Church, offered the prayer. She graciously shared her notes asking for God’s goodness to be present.

“As we breathe the good smells of Brunswick stew brewing, we give thanks for the breath of life. We give you thanks for this past week and for this day set apart for fun, food, and fellowship. Food is so important to the sustaining of our bodies, our spirits and our communities. Let this celebration of our stew heritage bind us together in community.

“Many hour of work and worry went into preparing today’s event. Thank you for all who made this day possible. Thank you for the vendors and stew masters and the judges and all others. Bless each one who gives of their time and effort today to make this celebration a success.

“Keep us safe O Lord, as we celebrate, we pause in this time of COVID to ask your healing on our friends, our neighbors, our country, and our world.

Let us celebrate with joy and safety and bless the food and the hands that have prepared it and those who will enjoy it this day.

In the name of the one who made us, in the name of the one who came to us in love, and in the name of the one who fills us with your Spirit and love. Amen.”

“Good morning and welcome. It’s a beautiful day in Brunswick County. We are grateful for all who came out today and excited about this day. We look forward to tasting Brunswick Stew. On behalf of my colleagues I welcome you to the festival. We are so glad you are here. For those who came from outside Brunswick County, we welcome you and for our fellow ‘Brunswickians’ we welcome you as well. Thank you again for coming and enjoy the festival,” Harris stated.

Donnie Edmonds served as emcee. Each year the committee recognizes someone for their dedication and hard work with the Taste of Brunswick Festival. This year Earl Blick with Virginia Wheels received the award in recognition with his many years organizing the car show that is always a crowd pleaser.

Wendy Grimm presented the award to Blick saying he had gone above and beyond organizing the car show every year.

Blick with emotion in his voice thanked the committee for the award and said he had been organizing the car show for the Virginia Peanut Festival since 1974 and said Dorothy Thomas, a long time supporter of tourism and the festival, “suckered” him in to sponsoring the car show at the Taste of Brunswick Festival over a cheeseburger and fries. He accepted the award with heartfelt thanks.