Monday, April 25, 2011

Pork in the Park

Salisbury MD
April 15-16 2011

The much anticipated Pork in the Park BBQ Festival was held April 15-17 in Winterplace Park located in Salisbury Maryland. The park is located in the heart of Maryland’s Eastern Shore and is always a great place to visit. Sandy Fulton and her enthusiastic group of volunteers once again rolled out the red carpet this year welcoming 116 teams from all around the Country as well as Canada.

Thursday evening found many teams already in place inside the park as the pit masters were anxious to get their fires started for the 2011 BBQ season. This event has become sort of a season opener for many of the teams in the northeastern part of the Country.

Friday morning the rest of the arriving teams were greeted with fabulous weather as it was what some would call one of those Chamber of Commerce kind of days. Teams keep their third eye on the sky as the weatherman wasn’t making any promises for what was in store for late Friday night and Saturday.

Turn-in morning broke with gray skies and very gusty winds, as the day wore on, things never improved. The heavy rain that was predicted stayed away until after awards, I still believe Sandy when she says she has an “in” with the Chief Meteorologist. After the brisket boxes went in, teams were scrambling to break camp before getting soaked. I am not sure if I have ever seen a contest of that size broken down and packed away in such short order.

In true fashion the organizers were in front of the weather issue and moved the awards ceremony into the large tent that had be erected for the judges. It was a bit tight, but everyone was dry and that was a good thing.

PA Midnite Smokers, Paul and Brenda Hess walked with an impressive win as the contest Grand Champions. They took first place in both the chicken and pork categories, second in brisket and fourteenth in ribs. They also scored well in Friday night’s ancillary contests with a second in anything butt and third in dessert.

Contest Reserve Champs were Jacked Up BBQ with Cool Smoke taking the number three spot. Aporkalypse Now won top honors in ribs and Hambones by the Fire scored number one in brisket. The Black Pig BBQ was the winner in anything butt and Heavy Hitters BBQ won the Friday night dessert division. Big Dawg’s Smokin BBQ was awarded the first place trophy for whole hog.

This contest has grown to one of the biggest on the east coast, it is well run and the hospitality shown by the organizers is second to none. It is a great way to start the contest season. If you haven’t done so already, you need to add this event on your “to do” list for 2012, you’ll be glad that you did.

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