MESQUITE, Nevada – It starts with a scent. Deep and smoky, slightly woodsy and so tantalizing you must find the source. Other senses follow, playing catch up with the nose as the sizzling sound of juicy ribs sing to the stomach before the tongue even touches the sweet and tangy almost spicy delight of secret sauce slathered over meat that has been slow cooked to perfection. Hungry yet?
The seventh annual “Smokin’ in Mesquite BBQ,” barbecue competition and festival is set to heat up the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino, 950 W. Mesquite Blvd. May 2-3 with food, competition and family-friendly fun to last the whole weekend.
“We are trying to build a festival atmosphere,” Christian Adderson, corporate sales manager for Mesquite Gaming, said, “all tied into barbecue and being outside.”
Approximately 50 of the nation’s best barbecue teams will fire up their pits during the two-day competition as they compete for $40,000 in prize money.
Billed as one of the top barbecue cooking competitions in the west and sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society – the cooking competition’s governing body – “Smokin’ in Mesquite BBQ” will pit teams against each other in four meat types – ribs, brisket, chicken and pork – which will then be put to the test by judges from the society.
“It’s very structured,” Adderson said.
Visitors will be able to walk among the teams, interact with them, and maybe even learn a few expert tips, Adderson said.
“Some of them love to talk and share,” Adderson said, “but some are very intense.”
Guests at the competition and festival will be treated to the musical stylings of DJ Johnny Utah, a Budweiser beer garden and the opportunity to purchase food from actual teams in the competition.
There will be 30 craft beers available in the beer garden, Adderson said, with a special craft beer tasting flight where visitors can enjoy three preselected craft beers for $5.
Attendees can purchase food tickets for $2 each and use those tickets to buy food samples and full meals. After sampling all the different vendors, visitors are encouraged to return to their favorite and purchase a full meal with their tickets.
A portion of the proceeds collected from the event will go to help charitable organizations in Mesquite such as the Elk’s Lodge and the Mesquite Community Garden.
“Our competition is community driven,” Adderson said. “We support the community that supports us.”
The two-day competition and festival is free for spectators to attend (additional food and beverage purchases can apply) and both days will provide opportunities to meet and interact with the teams and to try great food.
Plenty of seating will be available. Adderson said:
Just follow the smoke.
Meet one of the teams
Hailing from Fort Collins, Colorado, co-owners of Taps Sports Bar and Grill Mark Spring and Scott “Manno” Manning started competition barbecue after smoking pretty much anything that wasn’t bolted down in their restaurant, according to the team’s biography on the Kansas City Barbeque Society Web page.
Their biggest win, according to their bio, was during the 2013 Colorado Pork and Hops competition where they took fourth in the pork category and seventh in the brisket category.
The team is sponsored by Breckenridge Distilling Company.
About “Smokin’ in Mesquite BBQ”:
The competition made its debut onto the barbecue cooking competition circuit as a feature on the television reality show “BBQ Pitmasters,” Adderson said.
Originally held in September over Labor Day weekend, the competition has since been moved to the spring to make it more conducive to being outside.
“We just found that September was too hot for our cooks and visitors,” Adderson said.
Now in its seventh year the competition has become one of the top in the west, Adderson said, both for the caliber of teams it attracts and for the prize purse.
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A D V E R T O R I A L
- What: Seventh annual “Smokin’ in Mesquite BBQ,” barbecue competition and festival
- When: Saturay and Sunday, May 2-3 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Where: CasaBlanca Resort and Casino, 950 W. Mesquite Blvd., Mesquite, Nevada
- Cost: Free, food and beverage purchases vary
- “Smokin’ in Mesquite BBQ”: Website
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