Sec­ond ‘Smoke on the Bor­der’ BBQ set April 7-8

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GRAVETTE — The sec­ond an­nual Smoke on the Bor­der Bar­be­cue Cookoff will bring world-class bar­be­cue into Gravette Satur­day and Sun­day, April 7 and 8.

Last year’s in­au­gu­ral event was highly suc­cess­ful, with 37 teams com­pet­ing for $6,040 in prize money, and this year’s bar­be­cue prom­ises to be even big­ger and bet­ter. Al­ready more than 35 cham­pi­onship bar­be­cue teams from the four-state area have signed up to com­pete for prizes, cash and fame. The event will be held in Gravette’s down­town busi­ness district.

The Smoke on the Bor­der Bar­be­cue Cookoff is spon­sored by the Greater Gravette Cham­ber of Com­merce, and more than 1,500 at­ten­dees are ex­pected. Pro­ceeds from the event will be used to sup­port the Cham­ber’s events and schol­ar­ship projects.

“We want to en­cour­age folks to come out to Smoke on the Bor­der and bring a friend,” said Fred Over­street, pres­i­dent of the Gravette Cham­ber and chair­man of this year’s Smoke on the Bor­der com­mit­tee. “We are plan­ning for this to be one of our com­mu­nity’s great­est events, pro­vid­ing de­li­cious food and lots of en­ter­tain­ment for the en­tire fam­ily.” Ad­mis­sion is free both days.

Smoke on the Bor­der is sanc­tioned by the Kansas City Bar­be­cue So­ci­ety. KCBS is the world’s largest or­ga­ni­za­tion of bar­be­cue and grilling en­thu­si­asts, with more than 20,000 world­wide. The or­ga­ni­za­tion sanc­tions more than 500 bar­be­cue con­tests through­out the world, with com­pe­ti­tions for bar­be­cued chicken, ribs, pork and brisket judged by cer­ti­fied bar­be­cue judges. The event is also sanc­tioned by the Arkansas Di­a­mond Cup.

KCBS is the most re­spected judg­ing and sanc­tion­ing body in Amer­ica be­cause of its blind judg­ing process that uses a weighted scor­ing in­dex to en­sure a level play­ing field for all com­peti­tors. The or­ga­ni­za­tion also trains and com­mis­sions cer­ti­fied bar­be­cue judges (CBJs) at classes held across Amer­ica. CBJs learn how pro­fes­sion­als dis­tin­guish great bar­be­cue from av­er­age fare based on the three im­por­tant ele­ments, ap­pear­ance, taste and tex­ture. To learn more about KCBS, visit

The event will be­gin about 12 noon on Satur­day, April 7, on Main Street in down­town Gravette and will fea­ture ven­dors of many kinds. Satur­day’s events will in­clude the pop­u­lar Peo­ple’s Choice event, where mem­bers of the pub­lic can pur­chase a tast­ing kit which al­lows them to sam­ple each bar­be­cue dish, then cast a vote for their fa­vorite. Peo­ple’s choice en­tries may be turned in at the United Methodist Church din­ing hall just east of the in­ter­sec­tion of Akron Street and Sec­ond Av­enue. Par­tic­i­pat­ing cooks will be fur­nished a pork shoul­der to sea­son and smoke as they choose. Tast­ing kits are $10. Tasters should come hun­gry be­cause there should be about a pound of pulled pork to sam­ple for each taster kit sold.

Other Satur­day events will in­clude the Kid’s Que Burger com­pe­ti­tion in which the younger gen­er­a­tion of cooks will pre­pare a sam­pling of ham­burger, and the “Any­thing Butt” con­test in which the cooks will pre­pare an en­try fea­tur­ing any­thing but the four KCBS cer­ti­fied cat­e­gories. Over­street says this event can get very in­ter­est­ing be­cause these cooks can be very cre­ative and they know how to cook more than just bar­be­cue. The “Any­thing Butt” con­test will be judged by a panel of “celebrity” judges.

The Kid’s Q com­pe­ti­tion will be held in two age di­vi­sions, ages 10 and un­der and ages 11 to 15. Meat will be pro­vided for both the Peo­ple’s Choice and the Kid’s Q com­pe­ti­tions. Young­sters will be com­pet­ing for cash prizes and tro­phies and are asked to pre-regis­ter by April 2.

A ten­ta­tive sched­ule is: 12 noon — events open to pub­lic; 3 p.m. — celebrity judge ori­en­ta­tion; 4 p.m. — Kid’s Que 10 and un­der turn-in; 4:15 p.m. — Kid’s Que 11 and up turn-in; 4:30 p.m. — Any­thing Butt turn-in; 5 p.m. — Peo­ple’s Choice en­try turn-in; 5:30 p.m. — Peo­ple’s Choice serv­ing be­gins; 10:30 p.m., — quiet time.

The se­ri­ous smok­ing will take place on Sun­day dur­ing the KCBS sanc­tioned bar­be­cue cookoff when more than 35 teams will cook the four cat­e­gories of com­pe­ti­tion meats. All com­pe­ti­tion judg­ing will be done by a se­lect panel of judges cer­ti­fied by KCBS. The teams will be com­pet­ing for more than $5,000 in prize money. Smoke on the Bor­der teams will also earn points to­ward the 2018 Ozarks BBQ Al­liance Points Chase, as well as the Arkansas Di­a­mond Cup BBQ se­ries. This al­lows the com­pet­ing teams to score points in sev­eral Team of the Year se­ries.

While the turn-in is not open to the gen­eral pub­lic, to pro­tect the fair­ness of the com­pe­ti­tion, the award cer­e­monies to be held af­ter the tab­u­la­tions are al­ways a fun time for all. The awards cer­e­mony should take place from 3:30 to 4 p.m. on Sun­day. Sun­day’s events will also in­clude a Kid’s Que pork chop com­pe­ti­tion, with meat pro­vided. Con­test judg­ing will be held at the cross­roads of Main Street and Sec­ond Av­enue.

All of Satur­day’s events and the Sun­day Kid’s Q event are open for pub­lic en­try. En­trants are re­quested to pre­reg­is­ter.

Spon­sors for the event in ad­di­tion to the GGCC and the city of Gravette in­clude Austin Drug, BuiltWell Con­struc­tion, Crys­tal Lake Foods, Free­dom Pow­er­sports, Grumpy’s Peace, Love & Cof­fee, Harps Foods #311 (Gravette store), Im­per­vi­cote, In­sulBead, Metal Build­ing Supply, P&K Equip­ment, Reynolds Brands, Royal Oak Char­coal, Smith­field Foods, Teasley Drug, The Clorox Com­pany, Tyson Foods and Yates Tax Ser­vice.

To regis­ter for the Smoke on the Bor­der com­pe­ti­tion, call 479-752-3313 or email blast­mas­ter@full­ For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.face­ smokeon­the­bor­der.

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