Adam Boyer, right, with the East Greenville Fire Company team, "Smoke Showing," serves up ribs to the public during the People's Choice competition held Friday night.
Mother Nature may have sent a few showers our way last Friday and Saturday but that didn’t stop the grillers from grilling, the eaters from eating or the visitors from visiting the 2013 edition of the Smoke in the Valley BBQ competition. For the second year in a row, more than 2,000 people and nearly 60 competitors attended the Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned contest.
The quest for barbeque bragging rights, and prizes, began Friday as hundreds of people began infiltrating Green Lane’s Isaac Smith Park in a culinary quest for the best ribs – grilled to perfection in the competitor’s traveling kitchens. The number of visitors signing up to judge Friday night’s “People’s Choice” contest exceeded all expectations. It was an early indication that the event would have another successful year.
A carnival-like atmosphere greeted those who meandered through an assortment of vendors and displays and made their way to the food court where they lined up to enjoy merchants’ ribs, pork and chicken.
Friday night’s shower arrived just as the early folks were leaving and the late folks were arriving. After hunkering down till the downburst moved on, people emerged from their temporary shelters to enjoy the smooth blues tunes offered up by the Little Red Rooster Blues Band.
Saturday morning’s overcast sky didn’t deter those in search of barbeque culinary delights as visitors began arriving before noon to enjoy the children’s games and events, and wander among the assortment of goodies vendors offered. There was wine tasting and garlic vinegar sampling; there were games, merchant offerings, fund-raising booths and more. And, of course, there was lots of good food and a beer garden for those who chose to clean their palate with a brew.
Friday night’s shower brought a windy, but brief, rain. On Saturday afternoon Isaac Smith Park was visited by another brief weather event that brought more rain than wind. Visitors hunkered under pavilions and canopies and emerged once the sun peeked through the clouds.
This time, visitors turned the wet grounds into a muddy attraction as many doffed their shoes and sandals and continued to enjoy their tour of the event in a barefoot ballet through the Green Lane sod. Many youngsters, as one might expect, looked to the mire as an opportunity to wear it from the tips of their toes to their knees. Some even used it to paint their faces as they playfully made something fun from what could have been an unfunny situation. Talk about turning lemons into lemonade.
Dozens of trophies and cash prizes were awarded on Saturday afternoon. This year’s top five winners in the “Overall” competition were: First – Philly Blind Pig, Philadelphia; Second – Chicken Chokers, Fair Lawn, N.J.; Third – Smokin’ Hoggz, Abington, Ma.; Fourth – Shady Crew, Maple Shade, N.J.; and Fifth – Feeding Friendz, Deerfield, N.H.
This year’s Smoke in the Valley competition, which benefits the Green Lane Fire Company, will end up being another success and it won’t be long before the BBQ committee begins planning for 2014.
We can hardly wait.