Grillers, cultivators come together at fairgrounds festival

  • The inaugural “Grumpy Cup” barbecue and cannabis festival was held at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield over the weekend. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • The inaugural “Grumpy Cup” barbecue and cannabis festival was held at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield over the weekend. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Craig Wilkins runs the grill during the inaugural “Grumpy Cup” at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Judges sampling food during the inaugural “Grumpy Cup” at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Denver-based cannabis company Ethos during the inaugural “Grumpy Cup” festival at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Greenfield. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

Staff Writer
Published: 7/10/2022 6:33:21 PM

GREENFIELD — It’s no secret that good food and good weed have long been regarded as a dynamic duo. The inaugural “Grumpy Cup” barbecue and cannabis festival, however, gave the pairing a platform organizer Phill Lamson said Greenfield — and the East Coast — hasn’t seen the likes of before.

The Grumpy Cup, named after Lamson, a towering figure nicknamed “The Grumpy Giant,” spanned three days between Friday and Sunday at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, with each day consisting of a different theme. Friday served as a “late Fourth of July ‘thank you’ celebration,” Saturday centered around “ganja music” and Sunday was all about celebrating the best of barbecue. Cannabis growers, vendors and aficionados joined forces with an array of grill masters from the Northeast Barbecue Society in order to cultivate an event that Lamson hopes can grow into a tradition for years to come.

Lamson said his idea to hold The Grumpy Cup began as a concept for his birthday party. The organizer, a cannabis “breeder” who credits the plant with having helped him cope with mental health issues and severe stomach problems, said organizing such an event stems from a long-standing appreciation for marijuana.

“Since the day I realized marijuana was helpful for me and my mind … I began dreaming about what it would be like to be (at a cannabis festival) because I was too poor,” Lamson said, citing the “High Times” festival in Amsterdam as an event he’d always wished he could have attended.

Lamson was inspired to set his sights higher when considering the popularity of barbecue competitions in the South.

“On the East Coast,” he said, “no one really stepped up and set a big name.”

With that, The Grumpy Cup was born.

“It’s just food and stoners and I don’t know why nobody thought of that years ago,” Lamson said.

Although the festival was in its first year, Lamson managed to fill the fairgrounds with growers, around 20 barbecue organizations and cannabis-themed vendors from around the country doing what they do best.

“In general, we like to get into newer shows and newer markets when we think it’s worth it,” said Max Tromp, a member of Denver, Colorado-based cannabis genetics company Ethos. “(Massachusetts) just seemed like a good place to keep coming. We like the area and we like the people.”

“This is something we’ve been doing for a few years now,” said Craig Wilkins, owner of TapDat, a Billerica-based organization that prepares cannabis-infused food. “It’s bridging the gap between the barbecue and the infusion industry.”

Competitions to judge the best marijuana and the best food, Lamson said, were priced to be community-friendly. For $10, attendees could sample a rib from every barbecue organization, for example.

“We’re not out here to make people money,” he said. “We’re here to make people happy.”

A long table seated an array of smiling faces sampling the best of New England barbecue underneath a large event tent in the middle of the fairgrounds. Eating, both cannabis and barbecue enthusiasts agreed, is an activity made considerably better by cannabis.

“I think food definitely tastes better when you’re high,” Tromp said, “which can be a double-edged sword, as we all know.”

“I believe that cannabis can provide … a different type of body high,” said Wilkins, an avid cannabis user who infuses food to provide “more of a light body buzz.”

Future years will include burger contests, an increased number of food-related competitions and other expansions, Lamson hopes.

“My goal in the long run is to make sure … everybody leaves happy,” he said.

This year’s competition results will be announced as they are released.


Jobs



Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Greenfield Recorder, keeping Franklin County informed since 1792.


Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
 

 

Copyright © 2021 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy