Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Great Lenexa Barbecue Battle

That "fog" you see in the photo above isn't fog at all.  It's the pungent, sweet smell of barbecue smoke, thanks to this weekend's Great Lenexa Barbecue Battle.  Faithful readers of 8MM know that Kansas Citians consider themselves to be at the epicenter of the best barbecue restaurants and backyard smoking in the world, and the cookoff this weekend is yet more proof that 'Cue is King in KC.

Most contests like these are two-day affairs.  Things kick off on Fridays, and nearly 200 teams converge on Sar-Ko-Par park, less than a mile from Casa Scampwalker.  It's easy to know when it's competition weekend -- we're greeted by the telltale aroma as soon as we walk out our front door.  Friday nights are typically social affairs.  It pays to know people -- all the parties (replete with outstanding smoked meat and copious amounts of beer) are private, but the mood is jovial and it usually isn't too difficult to find someone that's willing to throw you a bone (so to speak).

We walked over to the park this morning to snap these photos, and while the crowds were gone, the scene was just heating up, with plenty of hungover guys getting ready to plate their offerings for the judges.  As big as this event is, it's small potatoes compared to the American Royal Barbecue, held every fall in KC and considered the biggest and most prestigious contest of its kind anywhere.

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