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Old 12-26-2008, 12:51 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NWOhio
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BBQ Contest in Ohio

Brothers in Smoke , I had an idea on Christmas Day at the dinner table!!!
MY Father-in Law is the Mayor in my little town...
and in the spirit of a "true blue" Smoke worshipper, I brought up the possibility of a Cookoff here...
I would like those of you with the knowledge of how they work, to send me a PM and discuss the "how-to's" of getting one started.
How is the Liability covered? How can the village benefit? Are Sanctioned contest less costly to the town(the FIL is a penny pincher-or should I say the Town Council is cheap...)
We used to have a fantastic Go-Cart Rallt here, but the council said it was too costly!!!Ins., Liab., etc.
If we could do one for cost of admission and contestant fees and the town makes a little... we might be able to add a compititon to the list.
We have a bunch of people around here thet do Queing, but the only contest is in Toledo, and that's for Restaurants mostly!!!
Please contact me with details so I can submit it to Town Council with a GOOD argument...
Thanks a lot,and Happy New Year everyone...
your bbq buddy
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Old 12-26-2008, 01:12 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hudson, OH
Posts: 3,150
Hey BBQfans,

Toledo would be a great place to have a contest as it could potentially draw contestents from Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and maybe even Illinois.
That being said it takes a lot of work to get a BBQ contest off the ground. Next year could be a tough time to launch a contest with the unemployment rate rising. The days of "If you have it, they will come" are over.

In order to attract contestants you're going to need a minimum of a $5,000 payout. You'll definitely want KCBS sanctioning, and a Governors proclamation that your contest will be an Ohio State Championship. The best advice I can give you is to start talking with those that have run a contest. PM Jim Ferguson aka Rolling Smoke. He runs a first rate contest in Kettering and has attracted top notch teams from all across the contest. As a KCBS sanctioned contest you'll have to pay out a minimum of 5 places in each category in addition to the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion. You'll want to have nice looking Trophies for at least the top 3 in each category. Goody bags for the teams and judges. A good location hopefully tied into another event to get the crowds out. You'll have to start promoting the contest early on all the message boards you can find. Try and start small, you won't have to compete with the biggest contests in the country at first. In order to be considered a qualifier for the Jack Daniels and American Royal contest you'll need a minimum of 15 teams the first year, 25 teams thereafter.
Also get a quality Rep from KCBS. You'll also have provide electric, water, and ice to the teams and have a good method for garbage disposal.
Like I said a lot of work. Picking the right date is also important. Don't try and compete with an established contest within a 400 mile radius of your event. I've only touched on the surface of what you'll need to do. I'm a competitor and not an organizor so I see things a little differently. There are at least 3 contests that I cooked in last year that I will not go back this year because of how the cooks were treated. The most important thing is to try and be a cook and judge friendly contest as you'll need a lot of volunteers to help put this together.

Best of luck to you and feel free to email me if I can help you get in touch with the right people. Start know by contacting KCBS and let them know you're interested in putting together a contest. They will help you.


P.S. This won't work if you're going to be cheap. You also might want to contact Dan from Lifesaving BBQ as he helped save the Nelsonville, Ohio contest this year by getting the Nelsonville Chamber of Commerce behind the contest as a sponsor. You are going to need cash sponsors to pull this off. Do not depend on the fees the cooks pay to fund the contests. Most of the successful contests give back close to 100% of the funds collected as the entry fee to the contestants.
Smoke 'em if you got 'em!

KCBS member & Certified BBQ Judge

The mission of the Kansas City Barbeque Society is to celebrate, teach, preserve, and promote barbecue as a culinary technique, sport and art form.

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