More than 40 competitors, including professional and backyard cooking teams from St. Clair County, will vie for top honors Saturday during the American Bass Anglers BBQ Cook-off at Lakeside Park in Pell City.
The House of Q, Smokin Chuck’s Wagon, Little Bit of R and R, and New South BBQ are among the locals seeking the Grand Champion Award. Teams from as far away as Oklahoma, Missouri, and Ohio are also expected to be here this weekend.
The daylong free event coincides with the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series tournament, launching from the Lakeside Park Marina on Lake Logan Martin. Anglers will weigh in at 3 p.m.
“Bringing both a barbecue cook-off festival and the Bassmaster tournament to a location like Pell City will give a lot of exposure for two sports on the same weekend,” said David Hagood, ABA vice president. “The Weekend Series anglers will be put on stage in front of a larger audience than they have experienced in the past, and the same is true for the barbecue teams.”
Cook-off contestants will begin setting up at the park today and Friday, preparing to be judged in chicken, ribs, pork, and brisket categories. Kevin Jenkins and Fred Genovese will broadcast their live weekly radio program, “Chef and the Fatman,” from 1 to 3 p.m. at the cook-off. Awards will be presented at 4:30 p.m.
“The barbecue cook-off is a growing sport and melds extremely well with ABA bass tournaments,” Hagood said. “The teams are mobile and set up outside to create an instant festival for the community. Pell City is rolling out the red carpet for the event, which the barbecue teams, bass anglers, and the community will enjoy.”
An Outdoors Show will begin at 9 a.m., and a Battle of the Bands contest will begin at 10 a.m., continuing until the winner is announced at 8 p.m. Motorcycle enthusiasts are invited to take part in the Legion Riders to benefit the Legacy Foundation, which funds college tuition for children of fallen soldiers. A Kids’ Fun Zone will offer inflatables, face painting, and other activities.
Event sponsors include Early Times Kentucky Whisky, Pell City Parks & Recreation, Comfort Suites of Pell City, Anheuser-Busch, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Royal Purple Synthetic Motor Oil, and Carlisle Tire & Wheel.
For more information, call 338-9713 or visit www.epell.net.