Bird Park serves up beer, barbecue
BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Sunday, March 18, 2018
SCOTLAND NECK — Sylvan Heights Bird Park brought together two of Eastern North Carolina's mainstays Saturday night: Craft beer and specialized barbecue. And tossed in an amazing assortment of exotic birds as a backdrop for a magical celebration on Saint Patrick's Day.
Last year the park threw two fundraising parties — Birds and Brews and Pig in the Park. This year organizers decided to go all out and combine the two events.
Participants, who paid $20 a head, were able to sample and vote for one of nine of the region's best offerings from vinegar-based to mustard-based barbecue. Beer was flowing from Quick Trigger Brewing Company, 3 Dave's Brewing, Fishing Creek Hard Cider and Carolina Eagle Distributing.
Leggett resident Wilbur Jones said he's a barbecue aficionado.
“It's all good,” Jones said. “I should know, I tried each one twice.”
He liked the mustard-based barbecue from Sticky Bandits best.
It seems like most folks agreed. Sticky Bandits was voted People’s Choice Award winner by event attendees. Sticky Bandits $100 prize, which was donated back to Sylvan Heights.
Beach Boys BBQ won second place in the People's Choice category and voted first place by the contest judges. Beach Boys also donated the $300 prize back to Sylvan Heights.
Attendees were also allowed to roam the park which is home to 2,000 birds from all over the world.
The sold-out fun was for a great cause. Barbecue voting doubled as a fundraiser for the bird park's latest project.
The Pavilion will be located in the wooded area behind the park’s South America aviary, near the treehouse, and will comfortably accommodate large school groups and events.
It will serve as an outdoor classroom during the day, setting the stage for unique interactive bird and wetland education programs. The Pavilion will also be available to rent on evenings and weekends, providing a world-class event space for the community and generating additional revenue to benefit education and conservation programs, according to information from the park.
The tally collected during the event was not available by presstime.
Before Saturday's event, Sylvan Heights needed $16,674 to meet the fund-raising goal of $218,968.
Grants from Southern Bank and the Gold Leaf Foundation helped the park get to where it is in fundraising, said Brent Lubbock, the park's director of operations and development.
Anyone who wants to make a donation can call the park at 252-826-3186 for more information. Sylvan Heights is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and donations are tax-deductible.