BBQ Tour Stop #16: Worland, WYSeptember 9, 2010
Chris and I headed to Worland excited about seeing our old friends again. As we loaded into the fairgrounds, I even commented to a couple of the committee members how nice it was to pull into town without the police and fire escort that we experienced last year. They put it just right by saying “well, you are family now” and that is what it felt like. That is also what we felt like when we checked into the local Comfort Inn and were greeted by Laura who remembered us from last year and the ladies at the local bank who asked me “where my hair was” as they normally saw me onstage with my “flair hair” and they also asked about Chris’ finger which was still healing last year.
The weather was absolutely beautiful and we had no worries about breaking out the hoodies and long pants. The weather also brought out the crowds to eat some great BBQ and listen to some fantastic bands. We even had a number of folks visit with us who had come down from Canada after they read about the event online.
On Friday evening, I had the whole crowd sing Happy Birthday to Ed with Admiral Beverage, the local Pepsi distributor and major sponsor of the cook-off. Ed happened to be doing a radio interview at the time but waved to the crowd. Funny thing though, it really wasn’t Ed’s birthday… Ed had pranked Chris and I by telling us that due to a train wreck on the main road into Worland, the state had put in more tunnels since he knows that I HATE tunnels. Payback was sweet as Laura even commented that she had heard us singing on the radio during Ed’s interview. Ed did get me back by having me participate in a pig calling contest in which I got beat out by a little girl.
On Saturday, event organizer John decided to mix things up and announce categories from first place down to fifth place until the contest representatives Ed and Gene told him that it would be best to build anticipation if he announced fifth to first place. I think everyone was just giddy with having such great weather for the weekend, especially the record crowds! Dragon’s BBQ won best local team while Quau won both Grand Champion and Kingsford Champion.
I think the highlight of my weekend and possibly of this year on the tour was when a young man who had been to one of my demonstrations came to the back of the trailer as I was loading up. Paysen brought along his two brothers, Vance and Stetson and asked if I would like to try some of his cooking. He brought along a small cup of sloppy joe that he had made himself and wanted me to try it. I grabbed a hamburger bun and asked him if he had cooked it himself and his dad confirmed that he had. I gladly ate the whole thing and was humbled that I had made a positive impression on this 8 or 9 year old that he would want my opinion on his cooking skills.
Chris and I hated to leave feeling like we had just gotten there, but our next event was the Oregon State Fair. We always know that we are welcome to come back to Worland and look forward to seeing all of our friends again.
-Mike (and Chris) Peters