Blues & BBQ offers local cooking
Although its organizers hope the second De Soto Chamber of Commerce Blues and BBQ at Riverfest Park will attract many from outside the community, there will be a great deal of hometown cooking both on stage and at the team barbecue pits.
De Soto Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sara Ritter said seven De Soto teams will be among the 48 teams competing in Friday’s Cookin’ on the Kaw barbecue contest.
Gates will open at 5 p.m. Friday at the park on 79th Street. Tickets are $10 in advance of at the gate. However, those paying in advance can save a $5 parking fee. Children 10 or younger are free.
The Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned contest starts a new year for local teams as they attempt to earn points needed to qualify for the 2010 American Royal. That, and the chamber’s decision to limit the competition to 49 teams, has contributed to the contest’s popularity, Ritter said.
The briskets, ribs, pork shoulders and chicken the teams will cook Friday evening will be available only to judges Saturday morning. But those attending from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday will have one chance to sample and judge the people’s choice barbecued chicken wing contest, if they act quickly.
“We limited the number of people’s choice tickets to 200,” Ritter said. “We only have about 50 left.”
One criticism of last year’s first Blues and Barbecue at Riverfest Park was that there were no barbecue vendors at the event. Ritter said that wouldn’t be the case this year as Frenzel Barbecue of Eudora will be among Friday night’s food vendors. Mr. Goodcents also will have a booth offering its new barbecued sandwich, she said.
“We’ll have barbecue, Italian ice, ice cream and funnel cakes,” Ritter said. “There will be a wide variety of foods available.”
Ritter said teams who attended last year’s barbecue contest were requesting tickets for family and friends and locations where they could enjoy the blues from the Riverfest stage.
Selecting the bands was once again the job of Dave Moore, blues afficinado and former Chamber president. De Soto is also strongly represented in the bands, he said.
The headliner, set to take the stage 9 p.m., is local band Bluesville. The band, which played at last year’s concert and regularly performs at the De Soto Relay for Life, shares members with the Pigboy Crabshaw Blues Band that is to take the stage at 7 p.m., Moore said.
Another act with local members is Landrush. Its in made up of two sisters and their families, some of whom are from De Soto, Moore said. The band plays in the country blues tradition of Creedence Clearwater Revival, he said.
Opening the music will be the Nick Hern Band of Topeka. The band of three teen-agers, will travel in January to Memphis to represent the Topeka Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge, Youth Workshop.
“They’re a little bit more of a dirtier, guitar driven band,” Moore said.
Ritter reminded those attending the concert to bring lawn chair or a blanket.