Southern Roots Reunion: BBQ and So Much More

by Lacey Eibert Keigley

“At the end of the day, this reunion is a personal cause,” founder Geoff Rhyne begins our conversation.

Of course, I think that’s the best place to start. The WHY behind something as big as the Southern Roots Reunion happening April 30 at Trailblazer Park in Travelers Rest.


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Because aren’t all of our causes personal?

And yet, it’s at that exact point when the personal cause becomes a public cause that we all have the chance to practice what TR does best – through community, helping one another push through challenges.

Geoff and his wife have three children and his youngest, daughter Ella Marie, has a rare genetic disorder called Kleefstra Syndrome. First diagnosed at fifteen months old, Ella Marie has struggled to meet health and growth milestones. Currently there is no cure. The Rhyne family has made it their mission to help Ella and other children with similar issues through awareness and fundraising for medical research.


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Geoff actually owns a hot sauce company – Red Clay Hot Sauce – and has a history in the restaurant industry as a chef. Through conversations with good friends, the idea of a BBQ Reunion was born. “We just wanted to pull people together – behind the scenes people too. From the folks who raise the pig to the folks who grow the collards,” Geoff says. And with all that pulling together and big idea dreaming, Southern Roots Reunion was born.

It’s going to be an incredible day of delicious food – and LOTS of it – and music and good company.


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From 11 to 4 on April 30 at Trailblazer Park, you show up with your family and your friends and literally everything else is taken care of.

Your ticket covers everything – all the food and drinks your heart desires, and your stomach can handle.

It’s not called a reunion for nothing, there are a whole lot of restaurants, farmers, chefs and musicians pulling together their collectives strengths and skills to create a one of kind experience.


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Cooking the BBQ are the pros from Home Team BBQ, Henry’s Smokehouse, Lewis Barbecue, Bacon Bros. and about fifteen others. Alongside these champs are other chefs like Adam Cooke of Topsoil Restaurant, Haydn Shaak of Restaurant 17 and the crew from Oak Hill as well as a dozen or so other chefs. It is a star-studded line up for sure with folks who know how to make it all delicious.

The farmers coming alongside these expert chefs include some of our TR Famers Market favorites like Wet Knot Farms, Stage 22 Farms, Providence Farms and Horseshoe Farms as well as Anson Mills, Greenbrier Farms and more.


Adam Cooke


And that’s just a portion of the list!

Of course, while you’re sitting on your blanket with your buddies, hammering down that BBQ and comparing favorites, you will not be lacking entertainment. The music line up is as good as the BBQ.  You’ll hear from Gyth Rigdon – a contestant on The Voice, local fave Darby Wilcox, Wilder Things Than Us (formerly My Girl My Whiskey & Me and popular performers at our Farmers Market), Tim White and Trey Frances and Babyfreak.


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It takes a lot of work and effort and planning to pull off an event like this. And – it takes YOU! All that BBQ is best enjoyed and appreciated. Those songs need an audience and those chefs need folks like you and me saying, “Job well done. I’ll have another!” And, most importantly, that research needs to be funded and hope and light need to be fanned to be kept alive.

Isn’t it good fortune when we get to do that kindness and support via delicious food and great community and an afternoon in one of our favorite places at Trailblazer Park?

Read more about Southern Roots Reunion on their website here.

Listen to Geoff chat with Brandon Timms and I on the We Are TR podcast.

Purchase your tickets to the Reunion right here.

Follow the Southern Roots Reunion page on IG to see updates and details here.


Music Line Up


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