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Forty eight teams competed for $10,000 in prize money at the 6th Annual Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned state championship contest in Downtown Jonesboro on Saturday, September 27th. Higgenbotham Dental, this years Grand Champion, is no stranger to BBQ championships and was also the 2012 Grand Champion. This year, they narrowly beat out Fire Dancer BBQ, the Reserve Champions, by only 1.7256 points. Competition was fierce as teams competed in four categories: chicken, pork ribs, pork butt, and brisket and less than three points separated the top three teams. Teams could also participate in the separate “Anything Butt” category which was judged on Friday night.
If you are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, you might get a chance to sample a taste or two from a generous team if you ask nicely. Since teams are not allowed to sell what will be judged, your best bet is to purchase BBQ from one of the many food vendors that line Main Street. Several of the vendors are past competitors. In addition to BBQ, you will find a variety of other fair foods from kettle corn and flavored ice, to fried Snickers and cotton candy.
BBQ wasn’t the only attraction. Live music was performed all day on two stages with this year’s acts including local favorites like Delta Honey and Callie MaRae along with Zach Williams and the Brothers of Grace and headliner Easton Corbin. Corbin released his first album in 2010 which featured two number one hits “A Little More Country Than That” and “Roll With It”. Corbin was named the CMA New Artist of the Year in 2010. His newest album “Clockwork” was released in early 2014. Thousands of country music fan’s enjoyed this top notch free concert.
In addition to music and BBQ, the festival also included a MACW Wrestling event featuring Cowboy James Storm from Spike TV, a host of vendors, plus inflatables and games for the kids. The Downtown Jonesboro BBQ Fest is a great place to spend a Saturday with the family as summer fades into fall. Be sure to follow the festival on Facebook so you can plan to attend next years festivities. If you are into making your own BBQ, you might even want to register to compete. Who knows, maybe you will be next year’s Grand Champion of BBQ!
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