LCFA prepares for annual festival

Published 10:05 am Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Prepare for barbecue. The sixth annual Hog Wild Barbecue Cook Off and Family Festival is coming back to downtown Brookhaven May 28.

There will be music, vendors and great barbecue at the event. The Lincoln County Firefighters Association will be selling whole Boston butts, racks of ribs, sausage dogs and pulled pork plates in a fundraiser that Mark Porter, of the LCFA, said has grown every year.

“Every year it’s even bigger and better,” Porter said.

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One of the big draws is the barbecue competition, and since last year it has been sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society.

“We just had a certified judging class last month in Brookhaven,” Porter said. “Through KCBS there are like 700 sanctioned events throughout the United States every year.”

Porter said last year the event raised $21,000 for firefighters, and there were 32 teams participating. This year, Porter said he hopes to get 40.

There is a pro division and a children’s division for the event. Registration for pro teams is $250 and $100 for children. Pro division teams must compete in four categories: chicken, pork ribs, pork and beef brisket, while children only compete in chicken and rib categories.

To keep things fair, judges for the event are trained by KCBS and will not know who submitted the barbecue. Official rules say the meat will be judged on three criteria: appearance, taste and tenderness. A score between nine and two will be given for each category, or a score of one signifying disqualification for that criteria.

Points earned at events like this can be saved up to qualify for a main event in Kansas.

“Just like NASCAR, you work up to the main event after gathering points,” Porter said.

Teams can also look forward to more than $8,000 in prize money spread out to participants. Grand champ prizes are $850, plus free entry to next year’s event.

If previous years are an indication, the day will be a success. Not even poor weather has prevented the event from moving forward.

“This will be year number six, and four of the six we have had rain that day,” Porter said. “They’re used to this. They’ll set out in a hailstorm to cook, I do believe. It hasn’t shut it down.”