May 11 2008

The Second Annual Big BBQ Bash at the Alcoa Springbrook Center was bigger and even better than last year. Lots of folks came out to enjoy barbecue, music, and fun in the sun. Attendance looked to be much higher than last year, and there were new competitors from all over. One welcome change was the addition of a dining tent which provided a shady spot sit and enjoy your barbecue.

The Big BBQ Bash is a charity event put on by local businesses and community organizations who donate their time, effort, and barbecuing skills to support local charities. This year's charity was the Blount County Community Campus, a joint effort between local government, private not for profit organizations, and local philanthropic companies to develop "a central location for essential social services for Blount County residents."

The BBQ competition ("not sanctioned by any barbecue organization or any one else") features these divisions:

1) Pork Shoulder or Butt - pulled, chopped or sliced
2) Brisket - sliced, 5 lbs. minimum, pre-cooked weight
3) Pork Ribs Whole
4) One Half Chicken - chopped, sliced or pulled.
5) Anything But (trophy only, "must be edible and you may have to prove it!"

Entries are judged on "Aroma, Color, Texture, Taste, Overall." First prize in each division is an impressive $3000, $1500 to the team and $1500 to their designated charity. We didn't stick around for the awards, so you'll have to check their website tomorrow for the list of official winners.

Congratulations to the City of Alcoa and everyone else involved for putting on a great event. It's shaping up to be a major new regional festival and we're looking forward to next year.

Some photos after the jump...

The Blount County Sheriff's Office Mobile Operations Center was on hand in case of trouble. Fortunately, the combination of big barbecue plates, a few cold beers, and hot sun made for a pretty laid back crowd.

Enjoying the music...

of Blue Mother Tupelo

Blue Mother Tupelo #2

Blue Mother Tupelo #3

Lots of folks came out for the family friendly event and the weather cooperated.

A creative display

A local favorite to those in the know

Alcoa Municipal Building in the background, new dining tent in the upper left.

Eying some ribs

Best smoker

Heated competition in the Mayor's Regatta canoe race

Who's doing all the work here?

Final push to the finish line

The "winners" (I believe they took a shortcut and they had an electric motor)

The regatta MC and judges


Soulfinger #2

Soulfinger #3

Soulfinger #4

Soulfinger #5


Big Special Thanks to Smoke on the Water

I want to give a big special thanks to Charlie Wear and all the members of Smoke on the Water, winners of the pulled pork. Charlie Wear, Jim Koons, Alan Jones, and Jennifer Connors not only did a great job on their pulled pork entry, they also did a good deed for the animals. They made Blount CARE, Blount County Animal Rescue Effort, their favorite charity for the prize money. The $1,500.00 prize money for their charity will help a lot of animals.

Thank you very much, Smoky on the Water! And a big hug to all of you! (I can even get you all a big, wet doggy kiss from Layla, my big grinning yellow lab foster, the fastest tongue around!)


PS. You can see Blount Today for the rest of the winners

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