Barbecue Showdown

Belmont Barbecue Showdown
Airline Avenue in Belmont is lined with the tents of some 25 teams competing in the Belmont Barbecue Showdown on Friday August 1, 2008.

If you’re on a diet you may want to steer well clear of Belmont today. Caravan Coffee’s Belmont Barbecue Showdown fired up last night, and the smell of pulled pork, ribs, and chicken slow cooking on dozens of grills is filling the streets of Belmont’s historic downtown with an irresistible aroma.

Those taking part in the event range from weekend warriors competing for the first time to seasoned (pun intended) veterans who own catering services and compete regularly. Some teams began cooking Friday evening, allowing their meets to slow cook all night, but for some the cooking process is both an art and a science.

With some 25 teams competing this year, the event is experiencing the greatest turn out in its three year history, according to Caravan Coffee owner and event organizer Vince Hill. The event kicked off at 6:00pm yesterday with the juried competition concluding at 11:00am this morning.

Some teams spent hours seasoning meets and pre-heating grills Friday before putting the meets on the grill sometime between 1:00am and 2:00am this morning. For many, staying up all night cooking, drinking, playing music and just hanging out is what barbecuing is all about.

A panel of twelve judges, including Belmont mayor Richard Boyce, will judge meets on taste, texture, and appearance. Contestants may enter meets in three categories: pulled pork, ribs, and chicken. According to Hill, the winner will walk away with a nice prize.

Activities will continue today with music and free food this afternoon. Competitors will be offering samples of their meets free to the public today with visitors casting votes for a people’s choice award to be given at the end of the event.

Abive right: Tracey Keuthan (L) helps Susan Biggerstaff (both from Belmont) raise a sign for their team "Bigg on the Pig" at the Belmont Barbecue Showdown on Friday August 1, 2008.

Left: Vince Hill, owner of Caravan Coffee, looks on as Chris Pears grills at the Belmont Barbecue Showdown on Friday August 1, 2008. This is the third year that Hill has put on the event which has grown from only five entries the first year to almost 25 this year.

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