West Bottoms site to be site of barbecue contest
Next October, the smell of slow-cooking meat will permeate the West Bottoms as the city is the host to a barbecue contest that's popularity has overwhelmed its original site.
The De Soto City Council agreed last week to make the West Bottoms property near the boat ramp available for the barbecue contest. The contest has been at Zimmerman's Kill Creek Farm, where it was scheduled for the third weekend in October during the farm's annual harvest festival.
Darrel Zimmerman asked the city to find room for the contest, which had been on his Kill Creek Zimmerman Farm the past three years. Zimmerman is also asking the De Soto Chamber of Commerce to sponsor the event.
Zimmerman said with its growing popularity, the contest outgrew his farm. And the new site will give it room to expand. The contest had 32 participating teams this year but had twice that number of entries.
Barbecue teams stay at the site of the contest overnight, camping out while team members prepare contest entries for the next day's contest.
Zimmerman and City Administrator Pat Guilfoyle said the event would be a good showcase for the city.
Guilfoyle, who visited a similar contest in Paola, said the contest Zimmerman started was developing a reputation as one of the top events in the metropolitan area in the run-up to the American Royal.
Although the council agreed to make the boat ramp site available, its members agreed improvements would have to be made to the site. Guilfoyle said the water line to the site was severed with the installation of sewer line to the new wastewater plant.