The sweet smell of BBQ flowed down Stone Street on Saturday, July 9, as 16 teams competed in the first annual ‘Smokin’ on the Bricks’ BBQ cooking competition.
The free community event hosted by The Would Eye and the Tanner Shelby Merz Foundation is the brainchild of Would Eye owner, Eric Froeschl.
Overnight Friday and throughout much of Saturday, barbecue chefs were busy with the patient task of slow-cooking meats over indirect low heat, and turning in entries with just the right combination of smoke, sauce and spice.
Time, determination and patience paid off in the end when the trophies were handed out.
Winners in the pork category, coming in third, Smokey Bears BBQ, Corey Rush; Second, Mark Sudbeck and Curtis Ross and coming in first was Cleveland Pythons, Andy Dean.
In the chicken category, coming in third was Cleveland Pythons, Andy Dean; second, the team of Big Papi BBQ, Mackey, Finner, Hayes and Kelz; and coming in first was Limp Brisket, headed by Mitch Sailors.
Winners in the rib category, coming in third was Richard Rowland; second, Cleveland Pythons, Andy Dean and first place winner, Smokey Bears BBQ, Corey Rush.
Overall grand champion was Andy Dean who placed in all three categories, winning him a $250.00 gift certificate to The Would Eye and a large trophy.
‘We wanted to continue with the BBQ contest and also have a family friendly event,” said Froeschl.
Family friendly it was, as several children set up camp in the bouncy house or in front of the kettle corn stand throughout the day on Saturday.
There was something for everyone including live music, an auction held in conjunction with the Tanner Shelby Merz Foundation and the BBQ competition.
Acoustic Madness entertained crowds on Friday night during registration for the TSMF poker run. Curtis Wayne Stroud and Harold Nussbaum played Saturday afternoon followed by Sawyer Jay. After the BBQ competition awards were presented and the TSMF auction concluded, Salt Creek performed for a large enthusiastic crowd.
Rachel Rankin thanked the crowd and volunteers for their time and service and asked for feedback on how to improve in the future, giving hope to everyone that this will be an annual event.
“It was so easy to find people to volunteer” said Froeschl. “Everyone wanted to help when they found out it was a free community event for the whole family.”