Barbecue contest open to amateurs, professionals

August 03, 2008|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,Sun reporter

The Bel Air Downtown Alliance will hold its seventh Maryland Barbecue Bash from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday in the Mary Risteau State Office Building parking lot.

Nearly 50 barbecue grilling teams from as far away as Texas have signed up to compete for $10,000 in prize money as part of the Maryland State Barbecue Championship, sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society.

Chefs will arrive early Friday morning and spend nearly 24 hours cooking chicken, ribs, pork and brisket before the judging by a panel of certified officials begins at noon Saturday.

Awards will be presented at 4 p.m. Saturday on the main stage. Teams will include returning champions, past competitors and new ones.

The event also will offer a pork rib cooking contest (the Tailgate Challenge), geared to local backyard barbecuers, on Friday. Chefs, using their own grills, if they wish, can set up and cook one rack of pork ribs, to be judged on appearance, texture and taste. Prizes will be awarded at 7 p.m. Friday.

The event will feature a beer-and-wine garden and food vendors, including five contestants selling their barbecue to the public.

A Kids' Area will offer entertainment for children, and exhibitors will include crafters and nonprofit organizations. The Harford County Agricultural Economic Development Office will have an agricultural trailer and materials relating to the agriculture industry in the county.

Musical performers will include Kacey Jones from Nashville, and headliner Whiskey Falls, a new country band, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday.

Saturday's lineup will include Patrick Alban and Noche Latina, Old Man Brown and headliner Reverend Billy C. Wirtz and Victor Wainwright, the Roll Models.

Shuttle buses to and from the Maryland Barbecue Bash will be provided at John Carroll School and Bel Air Middle and High schools starting a half-hour before the event opens until a half-hour after it closes on both days. Pickup and drop-off will be in front of the Mary Risteau Building on Bond Street.

Information: 410-638-1023 or 410-937-9366.

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