McLouth, barbecue cookers to renew love affair
Fire up the smokers, the McLouth BBQ Blowout is almost here.
The event, which is in its 16th year, goes from Thursday through Saturday at Prairie Park.
Festivities get under way Thursday with the return of carnival rides to the BBQ Blowout after a two-year absence.
"The carnival is back," said Cheryl Wonnell, who is in charge of publicity for the event. "They've been a great draw for us, but they weren't able to come the last two years."
Thursday will be wristband night from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Those attending may ride as many rides as they care to for $14.
On Friday, barbecue concessions will be open from 5 p.m. to close, while the carnival will be operated from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday is when the bulk of activities will take place.
As of this past weekend, organizers had secured spots for 40 teams of barbecuers, who will compete in an event sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society.
"Our cookers just love to come to McLouth," Wonnell said. "We take really good care of them, and it's just a really friendly, small-town atmosphere for them.
Saturday's events will begin with the McLouth 4-H Club serving a country breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.
At 9 a.m., U.S. 103, a Topeka FM radio station, will conduct a live broadcast with Radio Rich, The live broadcast will continue until noon.
The Great Pie Bake-off will be at 10 a.m. Check-in for the contest will take place from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., and pie and ice cream will be served starting at 11 a.m.
Throughout the day, a citywide garage sale will be conducted, while the carnival will operate on its final day, from 9 a.m. to close.
Other activities planned Saturday include a Lifestar helicopter landing, firefighter and EMT demonstrations, an Army National Guard climbing wall, Jayhawk Model Masters RC Airplane Club demonstrations and a Paint Ball Shooting Range.
In addition, the ABATE "BBQ Run" motorcycle show, including vendors, will accept sign-ins from 9 a.m. to noon. Awards will be presented at 2 p.m.
And, of course, the main event, the Northeast Kansas State BBQ Championship, sponsored by the McLouth Recreation Commission, will open at 11:30 a.m. when judges start to select their winners. Judging will conclude at 3 p.m. and awards will be presented at 3:30 p.m.
For more information, contact Cliff Weeks at (913) 796-6122 or (913) 796-6330; Randy Watson at (913) 796-6351; or Wonnell at (785) 843-2200. For more information on the pie contest, contact Susie Deeken at (913) 796-6625.