Jam session to put twang in BBQ

This year's McLouth BBQ Blowout will be spiced with a new ingredient: a bluegrass jam.

The annual barbecue, now in its 12th year, is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society and serves as the northeast Kansas barbecue championship.

Here's the schedule for the 12th annual McLouth BBQ Blowout Saturday at Prairie Park in McLouth:¢ 7 a.m.-10 a.m.: Country breakfast served by McLouth 4-H Club¢ 9 a.m.: Schmalstieg Pedal Power Tractor Pull¢ 9 a.m.: Opening ceremony, after which barbecue competitors will offer samples¢ 9 a.m.-10 a.m.: Check-in for McLouth 4-H Club's Great Bake Off and Raffle Sale¢ 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.: The Prairie Acre, bluegrass band¢ 10:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m.: Two Dollar Shoe Revival Story, bluegrass band¢ Noon: Barbecue judging begins¢ Noon-1 p.m.: Viney's Cousins, bluegrass band.¢ 1:15 p.m.-3:30 p.m.: Americana Music Academy free-form bluegrass jam¢ 3:30 p.m.: Awards ceremony¢ All day: Citywide garage sale, 3-on-3 basketball tournament, firefighter and emergency medical technician demonstrations, Abate Motorcycle Show, Kid's Corner petting zoo, antique gasoline engines display

More than 30 barbecue teams will fire up their grills Saturday to compete and offer samples to the hundreds of people expected in the city's Prairie Park.

Among the chefs will be Bob Schaffer, Lawrence, who has competed seven times in the event. He said he looked forward to the McLouth competition every year.

"Everyone is very friendly and makes you feel welcome," he said.

The grand champion will receive $1,000, a trophy, a ribbon and a spot in the entry pool for Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational Barbecue contest. The reserve champion will receive $500, a trophy and a ribbon.

A people's choice trophy also will be awarded, along with ribbons to the top three people's choice teams.

For the first time, the blowout will include a bluegrass jam, presented with the Americana Music Academy of Lawrence.

Cheryl Wonnell, who serves on the McLouth BBQ Blowout's organizing committee, said for years the committee had thought about ways to increase attendance.

"Looking at different music opportunities, this was something that seemed reasonable," she said.

Tunes performed by area talent will begin at 9:30 a.m. and continue through the afternoon. The culminating event will be a jam session featuring all of the day's performers.

The event also will include the McLouth 4-H Club's Great Bake Off and Raffle Sale. Vendor booths will be open through the event.

McLouth is 15 miles north of Lawrence on Kansas Highway 92.


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