What a fantastic weekend!! The weather was the best we’ve had this year and the first “nice” weekend of Spring.
Literally, at the crack of dawn on Saturday, we headed out for our first BBQ judging event of the season. The trip to Maryland’s Eastern Shore for this first contest on our annual circuit (Pork in the Park in Salisbury, Maryland) would take almost three hours. The drive was uneventful and we made excellent time. It was so good to see and talk with so many of our fellow judges that we haven’t seen since October at the last contest on the circuit.
When all was said and done, 92 teams participated in this contest making it the largest contest East of the Mississippi and raising the bar for the rest of the East Coast contests.
We certainly ate some excellent BBQ at the judging. Unfortunately, all judging at a KCBS (Kansas City Barbecue Society) event is “blind judging” which means, as judges, we have no idea whose samples we are tasting. We are just as surprised at award time as everyone else and I applaud just as loudly for each winner. I don’t play favorites. All have worked very hard to produce the best tasting food they possibly can. (A lot of you have asked, so I’ll tell you more about the whole judging process later in the week.)
Some of the cook teams awaiting the awards.
Saturday had absolutely perfect festival weather - warm and sunny, but not so hot you thought you’d burn up. It did get up to 76 at the height of the afternoon and the sky looked like a painting. There was an abundance of shorts and flip flops in the crowd and many a person started working on their tan. And there was “many” a person there!! I have not heard any attendance numbers yet, but something in the range of 30,000 just on Saturday would not surprise me in the least. We left while there were still 2 more bands to perform for the evening and it took us over an hour to get from our parking space to the park exit! There were still, literally hundreds of folks walking into the event from quite a distance away.
Saturday's sunset. Just before 8 p.m.!! I kept trying to catch the actual sun but the trees kept blocking it out. (I was in a moving car!) So, I finally settled on the beautiful clouds showing the reflection.
We also had a busy Friday and a fun day today. So, it's been a long, full and fun weekend. Now, we're exhausted and it’s time to say goodnight. Se ya’ll here tomorrow.