The catch, however, is that not all comps are the same. Most will have live music, contests, vendors with free samples, and some even have a variation of the "fans favorite". Fans favorite is what it sounds like, it's what the fans pick as their favorite. You, as a fan, can register with the event people and become a fan judge. You go around to the teams that participate and sample and grade. Some events have gone away from this, because the health departments claim people participating in a cooking championship may or may not know how to cook, and they don't want them to serve the fans raw food. Other comps may only have the comp itself, and nothing more.
Here's a list of BBQ competitions in South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina.
Smoking on the River - Summerville, GA
Pork in the Park - Newberry, SC (The one I'll be helping)
Picking and Pigging in the Park - Irmo, SC
Pigs & Peaches BBQ Festival – Kennesaw, GA