Barbecue pits, bands and a nod to baseball mark a yearly event April 23 at The Ponds to raise money for a nonprofit seeking to enhance “the lives of people with special needs.”

Local favorite East Coast Party Band will be the main entertainment for the 7th annual Southern Flame-Southern Food and Music Festival. Gates open at 11 a.m. Summerville Miracle League hosts the event, and Wells Fargo and Kolter Homes are show sponsors.

The Southern Flame BBQ Competition and Tasting is a highlight of the festival. The annual contest attracts 20 or more barbecue teams from across the Southeast. The Southern BBQ Network judges the competition.

Event admission is free, but parking is $20 per car. Participants can taste barbecue varieties by purchasing tickets for $1 each. Entertainment begins at 11 a.m. with a variety of live music. East Coast Party Band takes the stage at 5:30 p.m. for the family event, according to organizers.

“This is a great fundraiser for a great cause. For almost seven years we have hosted a day of family and community fun with great food and great music,” says Troy Powell, founding board member of Summerville Miracle League. “We are appreciative of the support and are looking forward to another great turnout.”

The Southern Flame Festival dates to 2009 as an annual fundraiser for the Summerville Miracle League. The organization’s goal is to help out people with special needs, primarily through “the national pastime of baseball.” The group also provides other activities that bring together the athletes and their families “in a positive and enriching way,” promoters say.

All festival proceeds benefit the Summerville Miracle League.

Reach Jim Parker at 843-937-5542 or