ARCADIA VALLEY — Barbecue lovers are in for a treat this weekend when the first “Arcadia Valley Bar-B-Que Battle” comes Friday and Saturday to the grounds of the Iron County Courthouse in Ironton.
Response to the event has been strong, according to event spokesman and co-organizer David Amelunke.
“Teams have entered from throughout the area, including St. Louis,” he said. “Our ‘ragtag’ group of organizers hope to see as many as 1,000 people come out. We’ve also had a lot of people express interest about the event on our Facebook page.”
“Possibly the hottest and fastest growing sport in the nation is barbecue cook-offs with over 500 of them held every year,” said self-described “barbecue whisperer” and blog writer “Meathead” Goldwyn.
Amelunke said Goldwyn can go ahead and add the Arcadia Valley Bar-B-Que Battle to his growing list of cook-offs because plans are for it to become an annual event. He added that, to give it the best start possible, organizers are making sure everything is done in a professional and proper way.
“The battle is a sanctioned event through the St. Louis Barbeque Society,” he said. “There will be more than $4,000 paid out to the winners in the pork steak, chicken, ribs, pork and brisket categories. Some of those competing will be cooking anywhere from 14 to 16 hours overnight,” Amelunke said. “About 95 percent of those will be using charcoal or wood on their grills.”
Along with the barbecue competition there will be a beer garden, washer tournament, pork steak competition and live bands performing throughout the weekend.
“We want people to have a good time,” Amelunke said. “Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy listening to the bands and watching the competition.”
Amelunke added that teams can continue to sign up through Friday by going to the event website: AVBBQBattle.com, or emailing Register@avbbqbattle.com, or calling 573-915-8398.
The schedule lists activities and times for the weekend:
Noon – 7 p.m. Check-in for competitors.
4 – 7 p.m. Pork Steak Contest
6 p.m. Pitmaster meeting
7 p.m. Pork Steak turned in
8 p.m. – 11 p.m. “Tungsten Groove” in concert
9:15 p.m. Pork Steak winners announced
Beer and wine garden open all day
12 p.m. Chicken turned in
12:30 p.m. Ribs turned in
1 p.m. Pork turned in
1:30 p.m. Brisket turned in
12 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Washer Tournament registration
3 p.m. – 6 p.m. Washer Tournament
4:30 p.m. BBQ Battle winners announced
The bands “Seems Legit” and “Old Hogs” perform Saturday.
“Teams have entered from throughout the area, including St. Louis.” — David Amelunke, AV Bar-B-Que Battle co-sponsor
Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or email@example.com