So with our 1 non-sanctioned comp in the books for our "comeback" season, we're ramping up for our very first comp of 2013, the Masters In May, in Fremont, WI, less than a month out!
We're pretty excited, as I've only even begun working full time as of Monday of this week! As to the title of this entry, it's borrowed from Jimmy Buffets' 2008 tour, which he called the year of still here. Feels appropriate given all we went through last year to get here.
After the Des Plaines Winter burnoff in February, we kept the barbecue fires lit by volunteering our help at a KCBS judges class in Westmont, IL. This years event had plenty of volunteers for table captain, but none other than us for assisting with box presentation, so Diane and I ended up helping the class leaders wife (Virginia Londeen) and her youngest son preparing the boxes, cutting and placing the meats, and then delivering them to the table captains. I have to say, with just the 4 of us, it was far less hectic than I recall from past classes. By all accounts, Virginia's husband David, and thier older son did a great job conducting the judges training, and at the end, a packed house of new judges took the oath! Dave, Virginia, and thier kids were great, and we look forward to seeing them again in May at Westmont, where they'll be 2 of the 3 KCBS reps.
In the meantime, Masters in May is a first time contest that sounds like it should be great fun, and will be our first outing this year. Unlike most competitions, that are done in conjunction with some other event(s) like a carnival, festival, etc. This one is being conducted at a Jellystone Park campground in Wisconsin, with no other activities involved. Just BBQ, all BBQ, all the time! And there are 48 teams committed to compete.
It's the first full weekend of May, and in mid-Wisconsin, the weather is, to say the least, unpredictable. Be that as it may, all competitors will face the same challenges, so we say, C'est lavie!
Our next will be almost in our hometown, Memorial Day weekend. This will be our 6th year competing at this event, and our 7th being associated with it (the first year we were judges) We've only missed thier very first year. What's more exciting is, in addition to this being thier biggest year ever as a competition (71 pro teams, and 19 amateur as of this writing, the most of its history!), they will also be playing host to Destination America's channel BBQ Pitmaster show! Not sure who the competitors will be, but it should be a fun addition! This comp is in Westmont, Illinois' Ty Warner Park, Memorial Day weekend. Carnival and festival starts Friday the 24th, and runs through the evening of the 26th.
We have 4 of at least 6 comps already paid for, and at least 2 or 3 more planned this year. Given last years issues (friggin cancer) we only were able to do 2, and summer was mostly a washout :-(
We are VERY excited to be getting back in the saddle, and hope we can enjoy the season we'd hoped for last year, this year! The next few weekends will require a de-winterizing of the trailer, and repacking with all the liquids we brought in last fall to keep from freezing. Photos will be posted as soon as possible after the contest, and if I'm able, I'll put the awards presentation up on youtube.
Good to be back!