By Cindy Jo Ayers
A plethora of local and area events are headed our way this Fall. But, there are few as exciting as the very first BBQ from the Hart, a professional barbecue competition coming up next weekend. This event will be hosted by the Gilchrist County Rotary Club and sanctioned by the Florida BBQ Association.
Cook teams from all over the state will begin arriving on Friday, October 15th. The barbecue teams will gather for a Mandatory meeting and light dinner at the Hart Springs Campground pool area that evening.
On Saturday, October 16th, the general public is invited out to the Hart Springs Campground for a day of fun, featuring BBQ at it’s finest. Cook teams from near and far will be adding coals and wood to the fire as the smoke starts to rise and the competition between the professionals begins. All total some 26 teams cook their way to the grand prize later in the afternoon. Some of the teams that will be competing are Porkidiculous, Ribticklers Barbecue, Tillman Brothers, GitChewSum BBQ, Boog-a-Lou Smoke Crew and Jurassic Bark.
The Opening Ceremony will begin at 9:15 in the stage area.
The judges will not be the only ones who have a chance to sample the pork, area citizens can sign up to sample all 26 team’s barbecue and vote for the People Choice Award. The competition allows anyone who signs-up and pays the $15 fee to become a judge for the day. The People’s Choice event begins at 12 noon and votes have to be turned in by 2 p.m. The winner will be announced during the awards ceremony at 4 p.m. The winning cook team will receive a $250 cash prize.
Barbecue teams K & E’s Little Smokers and Pig In or Pig Out will be selling plates of barbecue to the public throughout the event. Their teams as well as all the barbecue teams will be set-up throughout the campground spaces under the shade. Spectators can enjoy walking around and watching the cook teams as they work to turn out the best BBQ around.
The public is invited to join the Cornhole Competition that starts at 9:30 a.m. at the campgrounds ball field. Later in the afternoon around 1:15 p.m. the Horseshoe tournament will begin. The public is invited to join in the old time sport of pitching horseshoes and the winning teams of both Cornhole and Horseshoe tournaments will receive a cash prize at the end of the event.
The family event will feature a Kids Zone near the ball field. Kids will find a lot of fun activities to enjoy while their parents visit the various food vendors that will be at the event.
Cook teams will be turning in their excellent barbecue throughout the day, chicken will be turned in at 11 a.m., pork ribs will be turned in at 12 p.m., pork turn-in is at 1 p.m. and brisket turn-in will be at 2 p.m.
Those attending BBQ from the Hart will enjoy viewing the many vintage and antique cars throughout the day at the Car Show. The Car Show will be held in the area near the ball field. Car Show awards will be awarded at 3 p.m. at the stage area.
The Cornhole and Horseshoe tournament cash prize awards will be presented at 3:30 p.m. and finally what all the cook teams are waiting for the BBQ Awards Ceremony begins at 4:00 p.m. at the stage area.
When it is all said and done, and the smoke clears, this first annual BBQ event promises to be fun for Gilchrist and area citizens. Come on out and enjoy the day at the Hart Springs Campground, located at 4240 SW 86th Ave., Bell, off of SW CR 344.
For more information about this fun BBQ event on October 16th, contact Donna Creamer at 352-210-1827.
BBQ from the Hart to have 26 teams compete for top prize
By Cindy Jo Ayers