Wednesday, June 8, 2011 | 3:06 PM
The smell of barbecue draws you to the site where professional and back yard cook teams will be vying for top titles and prizes Saturday behind the Neighborhood Facilities Building, for the annual Haleyville Rotary 9-1-1 Barbecue Cookoff.
The cookoff site has been moved this year to the NFB, located off Highway 13 South, or you may hit 10th Ave. South by Sparks Car Wash. Making the move provides additional space for the growing contests.
The Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned event will feature professional teams that will be located in and around the fenced-in area at the ball fields. The back yard division will be on the former fair grounds located just across from the NFB. The Rotary Cookoff is also a Governor’s Cup contest that will go toward the state title.
This year a new exciting event has been planned. The People’s Choice will provide the public the opportunity to judge who they feel has the best barbecue. It will be held in the Neighborhood Facilities Building gym, from 10 a.m. until noon.
Tickets are currently being sold by club members for $10 each and will be available at the door.
Ticket holders will get a sample of each of those participating in the contest and will mark a ballot to choose their favorite. Votes will be tallied and The People’s Choice winner will be named at the awards presentation at 4 p.m. in the NFB gym. Harold Painter is chairman of this event.
Part of the proceeds will go to Haleyville Band Boosters organization, who is helping with the People’s Choice contest.
Barbecue chairman Bruce Eddy commented, “We are looking forward to our contest this year. The new location gives us an opportunity to continue to grow the contests and add new events. From the beginning, we have had teams ask us about People’s Choice. It is a coveted title for the cook teams. We felt the time was right this year to provide this opportunity for the cook teams and the public, as well.
“The contest is not technically open to the public. By doing The People’s Choice, it will give the public an opportunity to taste some of the great-smelling product that comes from the cook sites. It is also a way for the Rotary Club to help a local organization, such as the band boosters. We are looking forward to this getting bigger every year.
“We added the back yard division last year. This gives teams who do not cook in the professional ranks a chance to showcase their talents.”
More than $8,000 in cash and prizes are awarded each year.
The Grand Champion takes home $2,000 plus a plaque, with the Reserve Grand Champion winning $1,000, plus plaque and the Reserve Reserve Grand Champion receiving $750 plus plaque.
Four category winners are named in: chicken, ribs, pork and brisket, with 10 places awarded in each category of the professional teams. Registration fee for the professional teams is $250. KCBS certified judges are used in the pro contest.
In the backyard division, there are three places awarded. Registration fee is $150. The back yard competes in the chicken and ribs categories.
You may still register for the contest until Friday.