Fairgrounds Hosts National BBQ Cup Event: "Que'n in Cumming"

By: Jacqueline Thompson Graves

My husband's car should have a bumper sticker stating: will brake for barbeque. We've gone way off our route on vacation just to eat at a recommended hole-in-the-wall joint where you pick up the bones and the rib meat falls off onto your plate. You know the place. The waitress sports a beehive. The banana pudding doesn't come out of a box and there are more varieties of sauce than soft drinks.

If you think that sounds good, mark November 18th and 19th on your calendar when the National BBQ Cup rolls onto the Cumming Fairgrounds. This is the first year the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) sanctioned event has been hosted here. "We are hoping to make it the event," says coordinator Randall Bowman.

Barbeque enthusiasts know that competition cooking centers on four favorites: chicken, pork butt, ribs and beef brisket. To be a Grand Champion requires proficiency in all categories. Although most of the awards are given by KCBS certified judges, the People's Choice Award gives the rest of us the opportunity to place our seal of approval on a favorite. Purchase of a $5 tasting ticket affords access to the barbeque samplings.

Tyson Foods hosts a special contest on Friday when they provide the chicken and competitors can do anything except barbeque it. Awards are also given for best sauce, best dessert and best booth. "You'll see lots of peachy desserts," Bowman says. "After all, we are in Georgia."

The National BBQ Cup is more than just guys with smokers. This family friendly destination will feel like the fair is back in town. Radio station 94.9 "The Bull" hosts its popular "Backyard Country" segment featuring local Georgia artists, such as Kurt Thomas of Dahlonega, both nights of the event. Fair style food of all kinds are planned  including funnel cakes, deep fried brownies, cotton candy and John's homemade ice cream plus burgers and more. The Kid Zone with its inflatables, rock climbing wall and more fun activities gives you a reason to bring your camera along. Arts and crafts vendors help you get a jump start on your Christmas shopping.

The barbeque competition consists of two sides: pro and backyard teams. "Anyone who has been on TV in the last ten years will be here," says Bowman. Bubba Latimer of Woodstock and Rod Gray, owner of Pellet Envy, are both scheduled contenders along with 83 or so professional pit masters and 50 amateur teams competing for over $20,000 in prize money.

This fun adds up to three checks when the event ends with all proceeds going to local charities: Forsyth County Community Connection, Bald Ridge Lodge (serving boys ages 12-17) and Jesse's House (serving girls ages 7-17).

See you there. I'll be the one with a rib in one hand and a funnel cake in the other!

© 2011 Jacqueline Thompson Graves

The National BBQ Cup: November 18-19, 2011   
KCBS sanctioned barbeque cook-off
Friday: 5pm to 10pm  |  Saturday: 10am to 7pm

At Cumming Fairgrounds: 235 Castleberry Road, Cumming GA 30040
Admission: $5/person includes Kid Zone activities, concert, etc.
Under 12 years old admitted free.  Tasting ticket for BBQ: $5/person.
Contact Randall Bowman: 770-886-6290  |  www.NationalBBQCup.com
Arts and crafts vendor applications still being accepted.
Spots for barbeque competitors may still remain.



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