Getting their grill on

Published 12:42 am Saturday, August 26, 2017

Big Island Bar-B-Que hits its 10th year

The 10th annual Big Island Bar-B-Que takes place this weekend at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds in Albert Lea. Grillers and pitmasters from all around the area have come to take part in the sanctioned cookoff.

Food and drink vendors as well as entertainment are available for the entire family to enjoy. There is also a flea market open throughout the weekend, hosted by Junktion 35/90.

Rich Davis, a contestant in many of the barbecuing cookoffs, talked about why he enjoys coming to the competitions.

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“I would say my favorite part is the people,” Davis said. “All the teams and everybody is really supportive of each other. They want to see everyone do well, we’re competing against each other, but we’re not being scored against each other. Everybody is very encouraging towards each other.”

In all, there will be around 50 teams competing at the Big Island Bar-B-Que, which is considered big for the region. Davis attributed the large numbers to the central location of Albert Lea as well as the amenities available for the cookers at the fairgrounds.

There was a “Kid Q” during the 10th annual Big Island Bar-B-Que that was a competition for children ages 7 to 10 and 11 to 15 to show off their grilling skills against their peers. – Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

The festivities started Friday afternoon with the Kid Q. The Kid Q was a competition for children ages 7 to 10 and 11 to 15 to show off their grilling skills against their peers. The day also included entertainment from blues band David Ybarra and the Northside Dukes as well as rock ‘n’ roll band Offcenter.

The night ended with the awards ceremony with prizes and trophies handed out for the Kids Q, chili contest, steak cookoff and barbecue sauce contest.

The winner of the steak cookoff not only took home a cash prize of $1,000, but also earned an automatic bid to compete in the World Steak Championship in Fort Worth, Texas.

The fun picks back up Saturday morning with food vendors and more free entertainment. Starting at 10 a.m., John Goodsall will be playing solo guitar. Goodsall is a former guitarist for acts such as BrandX, Phil Collins and Billy Idol. He will be followed by a harmonica clinic sponsored by the Minnesota Blues Society. The clinic will be for all ages and participants will receive a free harmonica.

The Everett Smithson band and The Wicked Renegades will close out the weekend entertainment followed by the awards ceremony for all of the categories not awarded on Friday night. The ceremony is set to begin at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Chillli and wings were available to sample Friday as a part of the cookoff contests at the Big Island Bar-B-Que at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds. – Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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