Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Holland Summer Fest 8/26-8/27

Who invited this floosy named Irene?

The elephant in the room for this weekend was a pushy, uninvited guest by the name of Irene. The news reports during the week preceding this much anticipated event were dominated with forecasters and prognosticators attempting to predict the future. Whether or not you are a believer in your local weatherperson, the possible tract and estimated effects of this storm where not to be taken lightly.

Contest organizers fielded numerous calls leading up to the contest and had 6 teams cancel, some at the last minute. Most of the cancellations were from teams with waterfront interests and were completely expected. Contest Chairman Chuck Sheffield said they were able to move 1 team from the waiting list to make a field of 67, still 5 teams short of their normal number of 72.

Early on Friday it appeared that Irene would be making her effects know to the southern Pennsylvania region late on Saturday night. As the weekend progressed, her predicted arrival time continued its march toward the contest turn-in window. To say that this pushy bimbo was dominating conversation, thoughts and contestant mind sets would be an understatement. She elbowed her way into the cooks meeting as well as any and all contest related chit chat held throughout. In a typical intruding Mother-in-law fashion, Irene did her very best to cast a pallor over both days of the contest. (Authors note: Any similarities between a Cat 3 hurricane and my or anyone else’s Mother-in-law is strictly coincidental and not by any means meant to be intentional. It is also not meant at all to be derogatory towards hurricanes and or tropical storms)

Fortunately for all involved, the early rain bands were the only effects felt during the contest. Awards were moved up and teams scrambled to get their sites broken down and stowed away before things got dicey. The wind was never really a factor with the exception of a few gusts during awards. One stronger gust got everyone’s attention just before the start of the awards ceremony when it brought down a large tree limb. Fortunately, no one was in the immediate area therefore no one was injured.

Most teams were loaded up and moved off the grassy contest surface before awards. Sheffield reported the entire area was cleaned up and vacated by around 6:30 PM on Saturday. He also notes the real heavy stuff from Irene did not begin to pound the park until nearly 8:00 pm Saturday night. I guess the weather people were right, although I’ll never admit that one.

The contest Grand Champion was 4:20 Q with Jack’s Down Home BBQ coming in as Reserve. First place chicken was won by Christmas City BBQ while Pigheaded BBQ captured the top spot in ribs. The BBQ Guru walked in the pork category and the contest GC, 4:20 Q was the winner in brisket.

The Summer Fest has three ancillary categories as well. First place for the chefs choice event was Red Lion Spicy Foods. Christmas City was the top finisher in the sausage category and the team of PA Midnite Smokers was called to the stage to claim the top spot in whole hog.

This contest has become a much sought after invite here on the east coast. Chuck and his committee of volunteers and organizers do a fine job and usually the weather cooperates. Spending a weekend in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country is a treat no matter what time of year it is. If you want to get on the waiting list my suggestion would be to apply early; this is one you just have to cook.

1 comment:

Greg Prothero said...

Sometimes the BBQ gods are on your side, sometimes, they are not.